At 28, estranged CAPS United midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike is a man with unfulfilled dreams.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
He does not need anybody to remind him that he failed to live up to the potential that he showed when he burst onto the local football scene as a gifted young prodigy a decade ago.
To many who followed football then, Rusike was tipped to do better than Warriors winger Khama Billiat when the two players moved to Ajax Cape Town just about the same time in 2010.
Rusike’s alleged role in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal foiled a move to Belgium side Aud-Hesterlee Leuven after he had impressed during a trial stint in October 2012.
Unfortunately, Rusike found himself back in the local league four years later in a bid to relaunch his career.
“I am not really happy with what I achieved in my career. I know exactly what I was capable of achieving and I never really came close to fulfilling my potential,” Rusike told The Sports Hub in an exclusive interview.
“I still hope I can achieve my dreams before I call it quits. I can’t really say in public what my dreams are so that I don’t put pressure on myself, but part of it is to play in Europe,” he revealed.
At CAPS United, Rusike had found a perfect launch pad for his career, winning the championship last year and playing in the Caf Champions league.
Chronic injuries have dogged his current season but when he was fit, Rusike was CAPS United’s best player.
A case in point is when he tore apart the Algerian champions USM Algiers’ defence as CAPS United recorded a famous 2-1 victory at National Sports Stadium in the group stages in May.
And just when it looked like he was getting back to his best, apart from a nagging injury, the Green Machine terminated his contract under unclear circumstances two weeks ago.
“I don’t want to talk much about what happened because I am hoping to get the audience of the club leadership so I can talk to them. However, it happened at a time when I was looking to finish the season strong and possibly move to a bigger challenge.
“I would love to play for CAPS United again, no doubt about that. The last two years have been like a dream come true for me at the club, winning the championship and playing in the champions’ league for the first time in my career. I would have obviously loved to finish the season with the team.
“CAPS United is like my family and Farai Jere is a ‘father’ to me as far as I am concerned. I first played for the team when I was just 18, which is why I prefer to fix things with them before I leave,” Rusike said.
Injuries ended Rusike’s term at Ajax Cape Town and they seem to have decided his fate prematurely at CAPS United although the club has been mum on the reason for his contract termination.
“I am also worried about these injuries and they always come at a crucial stage in my career and I have sought advice from experts. I have had to play injured in most matches this season but what has happened gives me more time to heal,” he said.
While he is slowly coming to terms with the fact that he is no longer a CAPS United player, Rusike has ruled out playing football in Zimbabwe next season.
“If nothing works out with CAPS United I will have to move on, but I don’t see myself joining any local club. In fact, I am sure I will not be playing football in Zimbabwe next season,” Rusike said.
Rusike’s football career began at Alaska in Chinhoyi where he grew up and played for Alaska Primary and Secondary schools before he broke into the Alaska Lions team in Divison two when he was doing his secondary education at Alaska Secondary School.
It was his uncle who brought Rusike to CAPS United when Moses Chunga was still coach and the local football legend was impressed by the fresh-faced sprightly youngster.
“In football my hero is Moses Chunga. I am always grateful to him because he was the one who gave me a chance at CAPS United when my uncle brought me to him,” Rusike said.