By Albert Marufu
Zimbabwe international striker, Tino Kadewere says being rejected by Dynamos was a huge personal blow for him because playing for the Glamour Boys was a lifelong dream.
The lanky forward was offered to DeMbare by Zimbabwean football manager Gibson Mahachi six years ago but the Glamour Boys technical team felt the Prince Edward schoolboy wasn’t good enough.
Instead, Kadewere joined Harare City and, a few months later, he was off to Europe.
By then, DeMbare legend Moses Chunga, who has a good eye for exciting football talent, had already picked him as a star for the future.
Unfortunately, during that time, Chunga had no influence at the Glamour Boys to force them to take Kadewere on board.
The Olympique Lyon forward has now spoken about the hurt he felt when his boyhood club rejected him.
“I was very sad because it was my dream team in Zimbabwe but, then, I did not give up,’’ he told The Herald.
“I kept on working hard and praying to God for the best.
“My brother Prosper kept telling me to keep a cool head and continue working hard.
“My (late) father and my brothers inspired me the most.
“Growing up, I used to tell myself that I want to be better than them, people used to tell me my brother Prince was a star so I had to surpass that.
“I am not surprised (by what he has achieved so far), to be honest, because my whole family used to tell me that one day I will be one of the best players to come out of Zimbabwe.’’
He revealed he is putting in the extra hours to be part of the team which will take on Paris St Germain, in the French Coupe de la Ligue, and the Champions League tie against Juventus.
Olympique Lyon are set to face a PSG side led by superstars, Neymar and Killian Mpappe, in the Coupe de La Ligue final next Friday.
They then travel to Turin for the UEFA Champions League last 16 tie against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus.
The French side carry a 1-0 lead from the first leg.
A victory will see them taking on either Manchester City or Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
“I would not say I am prepared or not prepared,’’ Kadewere told The Herald. “I am just working extra hard to make sure I do my very best, if given the chance, to play in both games.
“But, what is most important, is for the team to win both games because they are so important for us and the future.’’
The striker said his main target for now, was to try and get as much game time as possible.
“My target, for now, is to make sure I get as much game time as possible so that I get to study, and also get used to the playing system, of the team and Ligue 1 football,’’ he said.
“I am not setting any goal targets but would love to score as many goals as possible.’’
His brother, Prince, who captained the Highfield High School team, that had former Warriors and CAPS United midfielder, Ashley Rambanepasi, before injury stalled his career in Division One, said they always believed Tino was set for the big time.
“I’m concentrating on the Highfield Academy and Tino’s breakthrough has helped the family in many ways,’’ said Prince.
“The lifestyle is now different and it’s not only the family which has had a breakthrough as we are giving back through the Kadewere Foundation which we started last year.
“Children in Highfield have benefited through payments of school fees and the elderly have benefited through groceries in these times of hardship.
“We are four in our family and we have a cousin, Jerald Chikore, who is also part of the brothers and everyone has had his share on the football arena.
“For example, my brother Prosper, who also suffered a setback in football because of a knee injury, is now the chairman of Highfield Area Zone football.
“I captained players like Ashley Rambanepasi in high school. My career has been a long and fruitful one. Now I’m in charge of Highfield Academy in Division Two, which is our baby.
“It’s a team that is funded by my brother (Tino), we are a team with my brothers. Prosper is the chairman, Pardon the treasurer and Jerald the secretary-general.
“Our focus is on grooming youngsters who can later showcase themselves to teams outside the country since Tino will be working with some of them.’’ The Herald