By Eddie Chikamhi
Zimbabwe international goalkeeper George Chigova does not see himself slowing down any time soon in his career as he targets a milestone this weekend by featuring in his 100th game in the South African Premier Soccer League.
The big Polokwane City goalkeeper has seen his stock rise over the past few seasons which has also led him to bounce back into the national team and play a critical part in Zimbabwe’s qualification for the 2019 African Cup of Nations finals to be held in Egypt.
The 28-year old has so far played 99 games with an incredible resume that includes 30 clean sheets.
And on Sunday he could clock 100 if he is selected to play against Black Leopards in the Limpopo derby.
Chigova told the Limpopo Sports Zone website that he is itching for the honour and is looking to play on as long as his legs would carry him.
The Zimbabwe international said he was inspired by the legendary Egyptian goalkeeper Essam El Hadary who made history as the oldest World Cup player at the age of 45 at the global soccer showpiece in Russia last year.
“It’s good to be playing my 100th game. It’s been a long journey but I would like to thank the Almighty for giving me the strength all the time and to be able to reach this milestone.
“I want to play as much as I can. I don’t know when I am going to stop because if you can see the goalkeeper from Egypt El Hadary is 46 and still playing.
“So if I can emulate that and go as far as him that will be a good thing for me,” said Chigova.
A graduate of the famous Aces Youth Academy which has also produced his fellow Warriors internationals Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat, Chigova is now in his fourth season in the Supa Disk and has conceded 119 goals.
Chigova started off his career in the Absa Premiership in 2014 with SuperSport but had to leave the Tshwane side after a frustrating season in which he was starved of game time.
His career started looking up again on his arrival at Polokwane City where he has been playing almost week in and week out.
“I take the first game which I played for Polokwane City; my first game we were playing Pirates and I managed to get the Man of the Match award.
“So that will be the most memorable game for me because it was my first game in the PSL and I managed to get the Man of the Match in my first game.
“There is room for improvement. As a goalkeeper we count clean sheets and for me I would love to get more of those. I am always working hard to improve on those statistics.
“So for now I cannot say I am happy, all I am happy for is that I am reaching 100 games. It’s not everyone who will be able to get there so for now let me just enjoy the moment,” said Chigova.
The giant goalkeeper is part of the Warriors side that has secured a berth at the expanded edition of the African Cup of Nations which will feature 24 teams in Egypt in June.
It will be Chigova’s debut at the Nations Cup after he missed out on selection two years ago when the Warriors were the only team from Southern Africa to feature at the tournament in Gabon.
But the last time that Chigova starred for the Warriors in a continental tourney, he was one of the stars of the show as Ian “Dibango’’ Gorowa’s men defied odds to reach the semi-finals of the African Nations Championships in Cape Town in 2014.
Back then Chigova was playing for Harare giants Dynamos. The Herald