HARARE – The 2013 soccer season was a forgettable one for young Harare City goalkeeper Tatenda Munditi.
His arrival at Sunshine Boys was first interrupted by a severe back problem that kept him off the field.
When he was finally able to play again, Munditi was loaned to Mutare City Rovers, for the entire season only to return to the Sunshine Boys the following year.
And as fate appeared not to favour the budding goalkeeper to play for Harare City, Munditi was diagnosed with a heart problem.
“It was a painful phase in my career. I even thought of quitting soccer but my family and friends encouraged me not to lose hope,” Munditi revealed to the Daily News on Sunday.
“I could hardly run or train with the guys and it kept me on the sidelines. It was very frustrating and at some point I thought my football career would end before it even started.”
Somehow, Munditi was miraculously healed and he was back in the fold but he had to contend with a place on the bench as experienced goalkeepers Tafadzwa Dube and Maxwell Nyamupanedengu were the preferred choices for a place between the sticks.
Munditi only started to get some significant game time during the 2016 season, especially under the guidance of Moses Chunga, who had already unearthed the young goalkeeper to play a huge role in the rebuilding of his team before he was shown the exit door at the end of the season.
The departure of Dube to Yadah FC at the start of the season saw Munditi being elevated to deputise Nyamupanedengu.
But it was not long before the Sunningdale native rose to become City’s number one following some unconvincing displays by Nyamupanedengu.
The 21-year-old goalkeeper has grown to become an important part for the Sunshine Boys side, something which also surprises him.
“I couldn’t believe myself at first. But I thank God for the opportunity,” Munditi said.
“I just want to keep on working hard. It has been a season to remember for me although we have not really performed according to expectations. It could have been better had we done well in the league.”
With three matches left before the season ends, Munditi wants to see City survive relegation following an indifferent season that has seen them sit just above relegation.
The Sunshine Boys currently sit in 13th place on the log with 35 points just a single point above the relegation zone.
City will have to win all their remaining three matches if they are to be guaranteed of playing topflight football next season.
On Wednesday, they are at home to Black Rhinos before travelling to the Colliery next weekend to face fellow struggling side Hwange.
The Sunshine Boys conclude their 2017 season with a clash against How Mine at home.
“It’s very unfortunate that we have found ourselves in this situation. But we are committed and we know what needs to be done to ensure we move up the ladder and survive the chop,” Munditi said.
“We just need to win our remaining matches and we are safe from the chop. Of course, it’s not going to be easy and we need to work really hard. We need to stay positive and believe that we can redeem ourselves from this situation.”