Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BARELY a year ago, was utility player Zimiseleni Moyo club-less, with a number of Zimbabwean Premiership teams shutting their doors in his face.
Moyo, who turned out for the now defunct Railstars and Motor Action a decade ago, ended up at lowly Tsholotsho FC in the second half of the 2016 season and played a key role in their survival fight.
His contributions at Tsholotsho FC, which resulted in Iziqholo ZeZhwane surviving relegation, did not go unnoticed as he charmed Zambian giants Zanaco, who followed his progress on matches beamed on subscription channel SuperSport.
At the weekend, Moyo played a pivotal role in inspiring Zanaco into the group stages of the Caf Champions League at the expense of Tanzania’s Young Africans with a man of the match performance.
Moyo (31) had missed Zanaco’s preliminary round matches against Rwandan giants APR, but turned on the style at the weekend.
Young Africans are home to the Zimbabwean duo of midfielder Thabani Kamusoko and Donald Ngoma.
Zanaco sailed through to the group stages of the continental club’s competition following a 0-0 draw in the return leg of the first round played in Lusaka on Saturday. The first leg had ended 1-1 in Tanzania.
For a player, who was club-less for one year six months after being rejected by Zimbabwean sides, which include Highlanders, Caps United, How Mine and Ngezi Platinum Stars, before being signed by Tsholotsho in June last year, Moyo is proving to be vital player at Zanaco.
Moyo yesterday expressed his gratitude to Tsholotsho for giving him the platform to revive his career.
“Even when I was club-less I never lost hope because I knew that my God will open his doors at the right time. I stayed for 18 months without a club after deciding against renewing my contract with former Zambian champions Zesco United and kept training alone. I’m happy at Zanaco and I believe that when I signed for Tsholotsho in June, my God was preparing me for something big. The move to Zanaco was never a surprise to me because I had faith in God,” he said.
Moyo, who can play either as a left-back or in midfield, is a defensive midfielder at Zanaco.
Tsholotsho must be counting their misfortunes after terminating a two-year deal Moyo had signed with them last year.
“You won’t believe it if I tell you that I signed a two-year contract with Tsholotsho in February last year which they terminated before its activation when they felt they didn’t need my services only for them to give me a six-month deal in June. Looking at it that was a blessing in disguise because it worked to my favour. Many teams were flocking for my signature at the end of the season when they heard I was a free agent,” Moyo said.
Bulawayo City, ZPC Kariba, Triangle United and Dynamos all tried to get Moyo at the beginning of the year. But what has made Moyo settle well at Zanaco?
“The first thing is that I’m not new to the Zambian lifestyle and football, it’s my home away from home. I’m also a hard worker and as a foreigner I know that I have to go the extra mile to command a place in the team,” said Moyo. He has now set his sights on winning silverware with Zanaco and believes they have what it takes to go beyond the Caf Champions League’s group stages.