(As we continue taking a closer look at the new signings at Dembare, here we reproduce this article from The Standard of 4 June 2017 that featured then Prince Edward student, now Glamour Boy Tanaka Chidhobha)
PASS the ball to the number 11,” spectators would scream each time a Prince Edward High School player was in possession during the Hammer & Tongues St George’s Invitational final last week.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
And every time the “number 11” got the ball, he would tease opponents with some astounding dribbling skills and as expected, Prince Edward came out three nil victors over St Ignatius to reclaim the coveted title.
“The number 11” scored a spectacular goal and created another to deservedly scoop the player of the tournament accolade at the fifth edition of the event.
It is no surprise that Prince Edward’s nimble-footed pacey winger Tanaka Chidhobha hails from the traditionally football-rich high-density suburb of Mbare where he began his football career before a scholarship brought him to the PE grounds.
Chidhobha, making his debut at the tournament this year, lit up the two-day event stage with some jaw-dropping dribbling skills, guiding his school to their third win in the competition after winning all their matches from the group stages through to the final.
In an interview with Sports World after the tournament, Chidhobha oozed with the confidence of a footballer who has already figured out where his talents will take him.
“I’m very happy I have been voted player of the tournament and would like to thank my coach for helping me achieve this. I knew I was going to win this award because everyone was talking about me since the tournament started,” the 17-year-old former Chiroodza Primary School student said.
The football prodigy began his career in the dusty streets of Mbare where he honed his dribbling abilities.
Chidhobha started taking football seriously when he was 11 at City Academy, a project which is no longer in existence.
Although he is currently not attached to any of the local clubs, his dream is to play in Europe one day.
“I want to achieve the best. I want to play in Europe, that is my dream. I think it’s possible because my coach always tells me that nothing is impossible,” Chidhobha said.
The lanky forward is a staunch admirer of Chelsea Football Club star Eden Hazard and he tries hard to play like him while locally he idolises CAPS United’s Ronald Chitiyo.
He says he is always trying to improve on his strength, which is to dribble.
“I know that my strength is in dribbling and I work hard in training to improve myself. Working hard in training always makes it easy for me to dribble in matches,” he said.
While Chidhobha feels that St Ignatius were not worthy finalists in the Hammer & Tongues tournament decider, he thanked the sponsor for an opportunity to showcase his skill.
“I thank the sponsors for this tournament because it’s a very good tournament. I enjoyed participating here because some of us got a chance to showcase our talent. I hope they continue sponsoring in years to come,” he said.
Born on January 6 2000, Chidhobha attended Chiroodza Primary School then attended Mbare High School for the first two years of his secondary education.
He then got a scholarship to study at Prince Edward last year. He is in Form 4.