HARARE – Zimbabwe international Gerald Takwara hopes he will be a major influence at Ajax Cape Town after he was unveiled as the Urban Warriors’ latest signing yesterday.
The former FC Platinum midfield enforcer completed his long-protracted move to Ikamva where he will join fellow countryman Tendai Ndoro.
The former Tsholotsho player signed a three-year contract with the Absa Premiership club.
“It is a great feeling, I am really happy to have finally joined the Urban Warriors,” Takwara said.
“I’d describe myself as a tough-tackling midfielder, I’m massive (laughs), I can pass the ball around, but I’d say my best attribute is breaking down opposition attacks.”
Takwara makes the move to the Urban Warriors after a very successful 2017 both for club and country.
Firstly, he was part of the Warriors squad that won the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup in Rustenburg, South Africa.
It is at the Cosafa tournament that Ajax Cape Town spotted the hard-tackling midfielder’s talent.
The Zimbabwean went on to spend a brief period undergoing trials at Ikamva but after impressing, the Urban Warriors were not able to convince FC Platinum to release him in June.
After returning to Zvishavane, Takwara went on to help Pure Platinum Play secure their maiden Castle Lager Premiership title.
FC Platinum became the first club outside Harare or Bulawayo to win the Zimbabwe league title after independence when they finished two points ahead of Dynamos.
“Winning the league is one of the best feelings. It has been a steady rise for me and I hope to continue my rise at Ajax Cape Town.
‘I’ve followed the club closely and I’m confident I can make a positive impact here,” Takwara said.
At Ikamva, the Zimbabwean is already earning rev reviews from the Urban Warriors technical team with the Ajax Cape Town head of football, Mich D’Avray, speaking in glowing terms when describing their new signing.
“We first spotted Gerald at the Cosafa Cup tournament in Rustenburg, we brought him here in pre-season and looked to sign him then, but he was still contracted to his club and they wanted him to stay put as they were pushing for the league title in Zimbabwe,” D’Avray told the Ajax Cape Town website.
“But, we finally got our man and we look forward to what we will bring to the club.
“He (Takwara) is a nuggety midfielder, quite aggressive, very strong.
“Hopefully, he can adjust and settle in quickly. He has a bit of bite in him, he gets stuck in and keeps it simple.”
Ajax have special knack when it comes to unearthing gems from Zimbabwean football.
The Urban Warriors are probably hoping that Takwara could turn out to be the next Willard Katsande.
Ajax signed Katsande when he was a virtually a non-entity from the now defunct Zimbabwean side Gunners in 2010.
The former Warriors captain spent only a single season at Ikamva before he was snapped up by Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs.
Katsande has evolved into a midfield beast at the Phefeni Glamour Boys where he has gone on to make over 200 appearances while winning numerous trophies in the process.
The Urban Warriors also made a huge gamble when they signed Khama Billiat from CAPS United in 2010.
Billiat had only made a handful of substitute appearances for the Green Machine after moving from Aces Youth Soccer Academy.
At Ajax, Billiat developed into one of the finest forwards in the Absa Premiership before sealing a lucrative move to Tshwane side Mamelodi Sundowns.
At Choorlkop, Billiat has certainly established himself as one of the best players on the continent helping the Brazilians to win the 2016 African Champions League title.
At the moment, he is one of the most sought-after players on the continent as a number of clubs are lining up on his doorstep since he is now out of contract at Sundowns.