The Sunday News
Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter
FOLLOWING his appointment as Chicken Football Club administrator, former Warriors nimble footed midfielder Clemence Matawu has vowed to give it his best shot. Matawu (38) has been on the new job probation since November last year and on Friday it emerged that he had made the grade to take over a position previously held by Tapiwa Marime who has pursued other avenues.
“Special mention goes to the Chicken Inn family. It’s a new challenge that I have always been wishing for. I actually had in mind during my playing days that one day I will venture into football administration,” said the soft spoken Matawu. He added: “My new role was cemented by the degree programme which I did at Nust. It actually took a lot of motivation from a group that we code named #Football project.”
Last year, the midfielder graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Sport Science and Coaching to join a growing list of local footballers attaining academic qualifications. The new Chicken Inn administrator, a record six-time Soccer of the Year finalist, hung up his boots after efforts by coach Joey Antipas to convince him to continue playing came to naught.
“I’m starting from nowhere but I know I will make it. We can’t all be football coaches at one go but it’s a process,” said the man who arrived at Gamecocks in June 2013 to cap it up with a brilliance on the field of play which he juggled between training sessions and studies. Since his return from Poland in 2011, Matawu refused to be slowed down by age, scoring crucial goals for Chicken Inn and making it into the Soccer Stars list three times on the trot from 2015.
He had previously made it into the best 11 in 2003, 2004 and 2006 when he was crowned the king of Zimbabwe football, beating former Highlanders midfielder Honour Gombami to the top gong.
It was no wonder that in 2017, Matawu wrote his own piece of history when he joined an exclusive club of the country’s finest players by finishing among the Soccer Stars of the Year finalists for a record breaking sixth time in the modern Premier Soccer League era.
To budding professional footballers Matawu said: “The sky is the limit. I believed in hard work and another chance has just presented itself. Everyone has the potential to do well.” His former teammate and Gamecocks second vice-captain Guide Goddard reckoned they will miss Matawu’s intelligence in the middle of the park.
“Salute to him. I personally learnt a lot from Matawu and as a team we will dearly miss his guidance in the field of play,” said Goddard. His sentiments were echoed by the ever-green Gamecocks skipper Moses Jackson. “We still needed Matawu in football action. However, I’m glad he is still part of the family after making a very noble decision,” said tough tackling Jackson.