By Nyore Madzianike
NINE-year-old Zimbabwe-born United Kingdom-based footballer, Munyaradzi Msipa, has signed for English lower division Swansea City’s junior side.
Munyaradzi, who was born in Kwekwe before moving to the UK, signed for the Welsh side after spending more than two years playing for Cardiff City Under-7 Academy team.
Although Cardiff City were also eyeing Munyaradzi’s signature, the young striker decided to settle for his home team.
Munyaradzi stays in South Wales.
Born to Zimbabwean parents — Lester and Mercyline Msipa — who moved to UK around 2000, Munyaradzi’s journey started when he turned for Careau Ely Under-7s upon moving to the Diaspora.
“When Munyaradzi returned to the UK, after spending three years in Zimbabwe, he took up swimming where he would have weekly trainings at a local community swimming pool.
“However, on one occasion he turned up for his swimming lessons only to be told that the lesson had been cancelled.
“Since the centre hosted different sporting events, Munyaradzi noticed a group of kids playing football and asked to join them.
“As he was playing with other kids, the coach of the group indicated to me that there was something special about his football capabilities.
“The coach encouraged us to have him join a local soccer team, which turned out to be Careau Ely,” said Munyaradzi’s father, Lester.
The little marvel was scouted by Cardiff after a short stint.
But his move to Cardiff City was blocked by football rules and regulations in the UK, which only allow children to sign for professional teams when they reach the age of nine.
“Swansea City came on knocking, looking for his signature to join their squad,” said Lester Msipa.
“The situation found him turning out for both teams although Cardiff City held the franchise on him.
“Towards the end of 2018, both teams came calling for his signature as he was turning nine on the 16th of September this year.
“It was at this point that he decided to sign for Swansea City instead of Cardiff City.
“While at Swansea City, he had interest from several clubs across England, but as he is based in South Wales, regulations regarding age, player-club proximity also came into play,” he said.
Lester says his son has already found comfort at Swansea City where he also met other Zimbabweans playing in senior youth teams.
Born in a family of three, Munyaradzi hopes to one day play in the English Premiership. The Herald