Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
BRIGHTON Ncube was just a 17-year-old rookie when he made his Castle Lager Premier Soccer League debut two seasons ago.
That remains the proudest moment of his career to date.
His journey to stardom has taken a lot of twists and turns thus far, but his PSL debut is still fresh in his memory.
It was no surprise that the youngster made his PSL debut as a teenager. His shots were hit with venom and he was always scouting for opportunities to leave his mark on an opponent, especially physically.
He is not a typical big striker that focus solely on scoring goals, but he is able to mix it with other players. His hold up play is outstanding.
His physical presence and pure talent resulted in him being nicknamed “MaNinja”.
It was at Luveve Stadium that Brighton Ncube saw his dream come true.
Donning the red and black colours of Bantu Rovers, the bulky young forward was introduced 75 minutes into the game against visiting Triangle United. The then Bantu Rovers coach Agent Sawu had thrust the lad into the deep end.
“I was very nervous, but the team was leading 1-0. When the coach called me to say I’m giving you a chance I had to grab it. I was used to playing junior football where a few people come to watch the games, but on that day there was a paying crowd and for me that was another kind of pressure all together,” said Ncube.
“For me it was a great achievement to get to play in the PSL at such a young age. I remember being called from the bench to get onto the field for the last 15 minutes of the game. I played well in those few minutes l got to be on the pitch although l did not get onto the score sheet. We won the game 1-0, which was great for me.
That was a special moment for me. I was coming straight from junior football where l played for Highlanders from Under-14 level so this was a big step for me,” he said.
He would go on to play a full game in a nil-all stalemate against Bulawayo City and earn a few more cameo roles that saw him hitting the back of the net once. In that season Bantu Rovers won only four games and finished bottom of the table with 16 points.
Ncube feels matches against the likes of Highlanders, Caps United, Dynamos and FC Platinum were special.
“Featuring against the country’s big teams was another great feat for me. This meant you had to rub shoulders with some of the big name players in the country and l was just 17. Also, this meant playing in front of huge crowds, which is every player’s dream. One of the best games l have ever played in was the 1-0 loss to FC Platinum. Although we lost that game, the team played really well,” said Ncube.
It was after the relegation of Bantu Rovers that Ncube’s career took a number of twists.
“After Bantu Rovers got relegated l joined Talen Vision. I played little football there and received interest from Bulawayo City so l left Talen Vision mid-season and trained with Bulawayo City for the rest of the year. There were issues with my clearance letter up to around October. I continued to train with City, but nothing materialised from that and now l realise I may have made a pre-mature move to City since l never got to play there.
“Perhaps if l had stayed at Talen Vision my chance would have come. That same year l trained with City, l was called into camp for the national Under-20 side that was meant to play Zambia, but l did not make the final cut which was rather disappointing.”
At the beginning of 2019, he trained with Bulawayo Chiefs and they signed and loaned him to Filabusi United, but halfway into the season the Liam deal was terminated because Chiefs could no longer afford to pay him.
Ncube finished off the rest of last season at Division Two side Bantu Leopards.
He is grateful to his junior coaches at Highlanders where he started his career for helping him early on.
Ncube left the Bosso juniors when he was in the Under-18 side after being offered a chance of playing in the PSL by Bantu Rovers.
Ncube now (21) was hoping to make an immediate impact with his new side Casmyn in the Zifa Southern Region Division One league, the Covid-19 pandemic has halted his ambitions.
“For now the goal is getting back into the Premiership and moving abroad. I have been working hard at home ensuring that when the season finally gets underway I am ready for the challenge ahead.”