Tinotenda Muringai is a former player at the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championships who has used the platform of the regional showpiece competition to forge ahead in his career and is now a star at top Zimbabwe side Dynamos.
Still only 18, the midfielder has been a stand-out performer in the Zimbabwe Premier League this season and has been using the know-how and experienced gained at the 2017 COSAFA championships in Mauritius to further his career.
Zimbabwe battled that year, but Muringai learned plenty about what it takes to compete at a higher level and is now putting that into practice.
“When I came for trials at Dynamos early this year in January, my aim was to make the B side of the team since I am young,” Muringai told The Sports Hub. “I never thought I was going to be part of the first 11 to play this season. To my surprise, I was picked to play and when I started playing, I realised that football is the same.
“It has always been my dream to play for a big team in this country, but I only didn’t know which team I was going to play for, so this is a dream come true for me. “It feels really great and I am enjoying every moment. At first, I lacked confidence because it was my first time playing in the league at a big club. I have been pushing hard to improve and now I am more confident.”
Coach Moses Chunga selected Muringai for the COSAFA event when he was only 15, but within wo years he had signed his first professional. “When I got my first cheque from Dynamos I bought my mother blankets and I bought my father a pair of shoes and a suit. I also spent some of it with my friends, but most of it I gave to my mother so she could put it to good use,” Muringai says.
“My dream is to play in Europe and play for my favourite team in England, Manchester City, in the Premier League. But my immediate goal is to win the championship with Dynamos and play in the CAF champions’ league.
“I am inspired by Real Madrid defender Marcelo, who is the best left-back in the world. I watch him a lot and I always want to learn from him. I hope I will be able to achieve as much as he has done in his career.”
Muringai is yet another up-and-coming star from the Southern African region to have used the COSAFA tournaments, for both men and women, to take the next step in their careers.