OVIDY KARURU is not surprised that people are questioning his return to the national soccer team. He also appreciates why he is being labeled Norman Mapeza’s blue-eyed boy.
“I know people are talking,” said the midfielder. It was Mapeza who nurtured Karuru into a dependable Warrior back in 2011, and the gaffer has given the 28-year-old AmaZulu player another lease of life withthe national team. It a call that has triggered serious debate since it was made public on Africa Day.
There are some who feel the Masvingo bred linkman – who had a long layoff prior to his move to South Africa’s First Division in January – did not deserve a call-up. “Fans may question my inclusion, they should talk because they are key stakeholders,” Karuru responded. “However, I am back on a mission. That mission is to prove that I can still play at the highest level. “I am the same old Ovidy, the only problem was that I didn’t get enough game time but now I am playing regularly at Amazulu.”
Karuru joined the Joey Antipas-coached AmaZulu in January and it was the former Chicken Inn gaffer who recommended the linkman to Mapeza. Before joining AmaZulu, Karuru had endured the most frustrating chapter of his career which included a fruitless three-year stint at Kaizer Chiefs in which he made just five appearances. Karuru signed for Chiefs in August 2014 hoping to revive a fading career following his unceremonious return from Belgium, where he had a nightmarish stint at OH Leuven.
Now Karuru rues the decision to quit Europe so quickly. “There are some poor decisions that we make as players and they affect our careers. I should have stayed in Europe and fought for a jersey there. I thought if I came to South Africa I would get more game time and then return to Europe. That wasn’t to be and it’s a lesson learnt. “But now I am happy. I am reviving my career under Antipas who I regard highly. It was Antipas who told me I was ready for a Warriors return and I want to prove him right too” said Karuru.
The former Masvingo United, Gunners and Boulogne player wants to prove he can deliver on the early promise of his potential. “I have to work hard so that I justify coach Mapeza’s faith in me. He is one coach who trusts me, he knows my capabilities and I do not have any problems working under him,” Karuru said.
Mapeza has no doubt that the midfielder will deliver the goods. “I spoke to Joey Antipas and Prince (Matore) who are working with Karuru at AmaZulu and they recommended the player. He is a good player; it’s only that he had some problems especially at Kaizer Chiefs which deterred his career growth. He has been doing well since his move to AmaZulu. If he does well during camp then he will play against Liberia,” said Mapeza.
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