Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
A DEFENDER of Zephania Ngodzo’s calibre is expected to always trade at the highest tier and his move to Division One football two years back got tongues wagging that he was on the slide to oblivion.
From being one of the top performing and most promising prospects at Highlanders to playing in the second tier league was not the script that should had Ngodzo as the main actor.
The new Bulawayo City player, however, feels playing in Division One was a great experience and moving to that league was a conscious decision he made knowing he will be coming back to the Premiership.
He said he had the option of staying in the Premiership when Bantu were relegated in 2014 but he decided to stick with the team as a he had formed a bond with the players and technical team who were now like family to him.
“I could have looked for a PSL team but after engaging management then, I was convinced I could work with them and achieve the challenge of assisting team get back to the top flight. I had never played in Division One so I took as an opportunity to experience something different. I am glad the team managed to get promotion last year. It was the goal on our minds and leaving Bantu after achieving that target leaves me with a great feeling,” said Ngodzo, who is popularly known as “Mania” in football circles.
This year he decided to join the Bulawayo City Council-owned side after a brush with Bantu management last year just after the season had ended. Ngodzo, along with Lindelani Ncube and Lenience Mpofu, was accused of inciting other players to embark over industrial action over outstanding bonuses. They were, however, cleared and later allowed to come back into the team.
Mania said he felt he was treated unfairly by the club as he had not done anything wrong.
“I was implicated for nothing and did not like the way I was treated hence I made the decision to move,” he revealed.
Ngodzo said he found Division One more challenging than the PSL because it more competitive as teams fight for promotion.
Mania started out his career at Highlanders juniors and was promoted to the senior side in 2009 before moving to FC Platinum in 2011 and was then loaned out to Chicken Inn in 2013 before opting to join Bantu Rovers in 2014 who had made a return to the Premiership that year and the side was relegated to Division One at the end of that season.
Mania said his football career has panned out well although it did not turnout the way he thought it would. He said while one might have their plans God has the final say and he does not have any regrets.
“So far so good although there have been some ups and downs but I have managed to keep a cool head and applied myself to the best of my ability wherever I have played. I got some national team caps and that is good with me. Of course in any field one wants to be at the highest level and like every other player it was my hope that one day I will play outside the country unfortunately that has not happened,” he said.
Mania comes from a footballing family and his siblings are former Highlanders midfield general, Johannes and Joel who is currently playing for Caps United. He has also played for flamboyant Zvishavane side, FC Platinum, with his younger brother, Joel.