THIS time last year, Valentine Kadonzvo was at the centre of a protracted transfer saga between Harare giants Dynamos and Chicken Inn.
The Glamour Boys had cleared Kadonzvo, who still had a year left on his contract, on the understanding that the winger was leaving the country for the United States to further his studies.
However, only a few days later, the winger resurfaced at the Gamecocks leaving DeMbare with a sour taste in the mouth thinking that they had been duped.
At the height of the wrangle DeMbare even asked the Premier Soccer League to intervene as they demanded a US$8 000 transfer fee for the winger.
After all the dust had settled, the 22-year-old eventually started the season with the Gamecocks and was a constant threat down the wings as the Bulawayo side mounted a sustained title challenge.
Joey Antipas’ side finished the 2019 season in second place just three points behind champions FC Platinum with Kadonzvo playing an influential role throughout the campaign.
But what had really happened between Kadonzvo and DeMbare that saw the winger sign for Chicken Inn?
“I wanted to go for a scholarship in the United States but unfortunately I failed to beat the deadline of the registration so in the end, I could not make it,” Kadonzvo told the Daily News on Sunday.
“It’s not like I misrepresented to Dynamos. Realising that my scholarship for the United States had hit a brick wall, I then came to Chicken Inn, who offered me a better deal than I had at Dynamos.
“As someone who is still keen to extend my education, Chicken Inn offered to take me to the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) as part of the deal.”
Kadonzvo is yet to enrol at the university but he intends to study electrical engineering so that he has a career after football.
“It is very important for me to further my studies, because after football I will be having another career to fall back on,” he said.
“Besides, my football career can end anytime sometimes due to injury or just failing to get game time so I need to have a fall back plan.”
Kadonzvo credits former Glamour Boys coach Lloyd Mutasa for giving him the big break before his career finally took full flight.
“I started playing football at Norton 2 Primary School. After that I later went to Pamushana High school and then Conwell College,” he said.
“I was then later spotted by one CAPS United official who then took me and two of my colleagues and we joined their juniors. Soon after completing my ‘‘A’’ Level in 2016, I played for Twalumba FC after that I then moved to DStv Rangers.
“Lloyd Mutasa saw me playing for DStv in Division One and he invited me to come for trials at the club; I was successful and I joined Dynamos in 2017.”
After joining the Glamour Boys, Kadonzvo had to be patient as he had to wait until his time arrived.
“When I was signed by Dynamos, I spent about five months on the side lines before I broke into the first team. It was not a joke I had to work hard,” he said.
Before he could fully focus on a football career, Kadonzvo also had to convince his family in that direction since they hoped he would pursue his education.
“When I was growing up people at home liked CAPS United and we loved football so we would watch football on television,” he said.
“That really inspired me and I told myself that one day I have to play for a big team like CAPS United or Dynamos.
“Unfortunately, my family never wanted me to take football as a career on the basis that I was doing well at school. However, it all changed when I started playing for the CAPS United juniors; that’s when they started supporting me including buying me football boots.”
Ever since he got his big break with the Glamour Boys, Kadonzvo has been one of the top wingers in the top flight. That trend has continued at the Gamecocks where he was a constant thorn in the flesh for most defenders last season.
As a young winger you would think that probably Barcelona star Lionel Messi or Juventus talisman Cristiano Ronaldo are Kadonzvo’s inspirations but that’s not the case.
“I’m not a fan of Ronaldo or Messi; they are both good but Neymar is my favourite. Locally I am inspired by Peter Ndlovu but from the current crop I am inspired by Khama Billiat,” he said.
“I prefer the jersey number 10 because most of the people that I have watched who are good in football will be wearing number 10 but lately I prefer 11, the one that I used to wear at Dynamos.”