The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
LAST Sunday saw Chicken Inn striker Clive Augusto become the first player in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League to score a hat-trick this season when he fired three goals past Caps United at the National Sports Stadium.
The Gamecocks hammered Makepekepe 3-1 on the day to go on top of the log. Augusto took his goal tally to 11 in 10 matches and was the leading marksman in the PSL heading into this weekend’s league action. His 11 goals are much more than the six he scored in two seasons for his former team Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Many are wondering who this Augusto is who has terrorised defenders since the start of the season. Sunday Life had a chat with the Chicken Inn striker to find out more about him. Born on 26 July 1994, Augusto grew up in Harare’s high density suburb of Mabvuku.
“Clive Augusto is just a guy from Mabvuku, Harare. I went to Tafara Primary School then Oriel Boys High. I started playing football at a young age, I was always a striker, sometimes played as a midfielder,’’ Augusto said.
His football career took off at DT Africa United under the guidance of veteran mentor Wieslaw Grabowski with the team playing in Division Two. From there he moved to Twalumba who were playing in the Zifa Northern Region Division One League. After Twalumba, Augusto turned out for Darwin who were also in the Northern Region D1 League.
“I started at DT Africa under Grabowski, I moved to Twalumba in Division One, then Darwin based in Mount Darwin, they were in Division One.”
His move to Ngezi came in 2015 when Madamburo was still in Division One and was part of the side that earned promotion into the top flight. When Ngezi got into the PSL in 2016, Augusto was part of the team but was not registered. It was former coach Tonderai Ndiraya who convinced him to stay as he was part of his future plans.
“I don’t even know what happened, maybe I was out of favour, when Ndiraya came he assured me, after seeing me at training. When Ndiraya came, he got rid of some players, I thought since I was not playing I was going to be offloaded. After two weeks, Ndiraya told me to stay because he was not going to register me but he told me I should come for training, I’d be registered the following season,’’ said Augusto.
He was a regular for Ngezi in the 2017 and 2018 seasons which saw him score three goals in each of those two years. Despite not scoring a lot of goals for Ngezi, Augusto attracted interest from Chicken Inn. He explained that Chicken Inn assistant coach Prince Matore was pivotal in his move to the 2015 Zimbabwean champions since they had worked together at DT Africa.
Augusto showed that he meant business when he banged in a brace in Chicken Inn’s 3-1 triumph over ZPC Kariba in their opening match of the season at Luveve Stadium. This happens to be Augusto’s most memorable match in 2019 because it gave him the self belief.
“To be honest, my first game when I scored a brace against ZPC Kariba, that game gave me the confidence, with what I have achieved so far it’s because of that game,’’ he said.
Augusto attributed his goal scoring form to hard work seeing that he had set himself a target of 10 goals for this season, which he has already surpassed.
“Hard work, setting targets as a striker, luckily God has also rewarded me for my hard work. When the season started, I set myself a target of double margins, I wanted 10 goals, I thought that was enough,’’ Augusto said.
Now that he has exceeded his target, Augusto is looking to continue playing well and scoring, provided he remains fit.
“I will just keep on scoring, keep on playing, hopefully I won’t get injured.”
On his hat-trick against Caps United, Augusto feels that Chicken Inn played well on the day and he took the goal scoring opportunities which came his way.
“As a striker, I know any given chance I should utilise so that’s what I did, I utilised my chances then the team won, it’s about the team, everyone played well that day,’’ said Augusto.
The striker made it clear that it is not a secret that Chicken Inn are gunning for the title this season and he would love to achieve that with the Gamecocks come the end of the season.
“To be honest, Chicken Inn want the championship, it’s not a secret, we are trying our best, I would love to win the championship with Chicken Inn.”
His dream move is to play in the French Ligue 1 but it was his trials stint at SuperSport United in South Africa which motivated him to become a better player. Augusto was at Matsatsantsa for two weeks in January but things did not go as he had planned.
“I went for trials at SuperSport in January when I had already signed for Chicken Inn, I spent about two weeks, to be honest its one of the things that have given me confidence because I learnt a lot. Unfortunately things did not go the way I was expecting but it pushed me to improve as a player,’’ he said.
Zimbabwean strikers have struggled over the years to break the 20 goal mark and with the form he has shown so far, Augusto is looking to become the first one to reach that milestone this season.