By Tadious Manyepo
Warriors striker, Prince Dube, continues to script his way into the hearts of Azam fans, with the striker well on course to winning the Tanzania Premiership Golden Boot award.
That the former Highlanders striker had to endure close to two months, on the sidelines after suffering an arm injury, has made his pursuit for the top prize even special.
He still leads the scoring charts, in his debut season, in Tanzania.
Dube’s winner, which floored giants Young Africans on Sunday night, is also a contender for the Goal of the Season.
That goal was Dube’s 12th of the season and he is in the driving seat, in the Golden Boot race, with the duo of Simba SC’s Meddie Kagere and John Bocco, who are on 11 and 10 goals.
The Zimbabwean has also chipped in with six assists.
He recently told The Herald his primary objective was to help Azam achieve their targets but would fight hard to win the top-scorer’s award as well.
“My job as a striker is to score goals,” said Dube. “But, the team is more important than individuals.
“I will do everything and play a role in the team’s quest to achieve their targets.
“But, of course, as a striker, scoring goals that help the team is the most important thing.
“Winning individual awards, especially the Golden Boot, as a striker, is also important. I will continue to score and see where I will be, come the end of the season.”
Azam are third on the table, with 51 points to their name, seven behind leaders and title favourites Simba, who have played three games less, due to their commitments in the CAF Champions league.
But, the 24-year-old’s team lost a lot of ground, in the two months Dube was nursing his injury. Dube’s agent, George Deda, who is in constant touch with the Azam officials with whom he enjoy a sound working relationship, hailed the forward.
Deda said he received a call from Azam’s chief executive (Abdulkarim “Popat’’ Amin), immediately after Dube scored the all-important goal against Young Africans.
“(Of course) the injury was a setback, not just to Prince (Dube) himself but to the entire Azam family because the boy had struck a rich vein of form (at the right time),” said Deda.
“He was scoring regularly, he was also coming in with assists and (his) being injured was a major setback to the club and to his career as well given that we had already started having some inquiries about his availability.
“Everybody (at Azam) is more than pleased with the way Prince (Dube) has contributed to the club, especially after his long lay-off, which was more than two months, I suppose.
“And, since he has come back, I think he has scored about five or six goals and one thing which is very interesting is that the boy missed about eight games but he is still topping the (scoring) charts.”
If Dube wins the Golden Boot Award, he will be all smiles to the bank with reports that the top-scorer in that country, walks away with about US$15 000 in prize money.
“This (Golden Boot) comes with a lot of money. If he finishes as the top goal-scorer in Tanzania, there are certain things that I cannot divulge now but if he does that, he is going to walk away with almost US$15 000,’’ said Deda.
“The Azam chief executive officer called me last night (Sunday night) and he told that the club is very happy with the player’s performance, especially after his goal against Young Africans took Azam to within three points, of CAF Champions League slot.
“But, the boy is also impressed by his own performance.
“It’s not easy to come back from a long lay-off and starting to bang goals just like that. I think in his first game, after coming back, he scored a goal, in his second he banged in a double, the third he scored.
“And, in this one, he also found the target.
“So Azam are very pleased by his performance.
“If you look at it this way, Prince is shining yet he is not surrounded by a galaxy of stars like his Golden Boot competitors at teams like Simba SC.
“So, for him to be doing what he is doing right now, speaks volumes of his pedigree.” The Herald