The Sunday Mail
WEIGHED down by the albatross of match-fixing allegations that would later fail to stand the test of time, Patson Jaure sneaked back into Zimbabwe mid-January in need of a re-birth.
After an unsuccessful sojourn down south at modest University of Pretoria, the 26-year-old defender was low on confidence.
Dynamos were ready to welcome their former skipper but Jaure thought it wise to avoid the limelight and pressure that comes with the blue colours of the Harare giants. He chose the blue and white of Ngezi Platinum Stars instead.
“I chose to join Ngezi Platinum because I felt I would easily settle. . . . I must be honest those match-fixing allegations really affected me so I could not commit myself to joining a big club like Dynamos,”Jaure was recently quoted saying.
It was an all-time low for a player who two years ago left the domestic scene with some saying his talent was good enough for Europe.
At the end of the 2012 season Jaure was linked with a move to Turkey and in January 2014 – aged just 24 – he captained the Warriors to the Chan semifinals in South Africa.
A move to the Absa Premiership followed the Chan showcase but things did not work out as expected.
In his two years in South Africa, Jaure not only failed to entice European clubs, but he also failed to convince the Absa big boys that he was ready for the big time afterr 48 appearances at AmaTuks.
But Jaure has been slowly finding his feet under the eye of Tonderayi Ndiraya and says his failure to progress was never about his lack of ability.
“Those (match-fixing) allegations were damaging,” he said as his side prepared to make their Caf Confederations Cup bow against little-known Pamplemousse in Mauritius next Sunday.
“I have always known that I am a good footballer and after those damaging allegations all I needed was an environment to prove that I am a professional and Ngezi offered me the best environment.
“I am happy the coaches here continue to show confidence in me and now that we are going to play in Africa my hope is we do well.
At an individual level I think this will afford me the chance to make a case for playing in Europe and the Warriors as well.”
His coach does not hesitate to assert that the former DeMbare man is at present the best central defender in the land.
“Partson is one of the top players in the league and the country at large,” Ndiraya said of Jaure. “He has brought a lot of stability in our defence and finished last season at the top of his game. He is steadily progressing and we believe he will get back to his best this coming season.”