Gutu Swedish joy


Warriors midfielder Archford Gutu has earned a three-and-half-year contract extension after making an instant impact at Swedish football giants Kalmar FF, just three months after joining them. The contract extension will see the former Dynamos playmaker staying at the Gold Bird Arena until the summer of 2015.

Gutu penned the deal on Wednesday, alongside African compatriot Senegalese Papa Diouf who was also offered the same deal.

Diouf, just like Gutu, joined Kalmar FF at the start of the year on a six-month contract. The deals were confirmed on the team’s official website yesterday,
“Archford Gutu from Zimbabwe and Papa Diouf from Senegal have both played in Kalmar FF in the pre-season. Both had signed a six-month contract with option for another three-and-half years with Kalmar FF. Today, the two and Kalmar FF want to use the extension option available and the two now have contracts that extend to 2015,” reads the statement.

Gutu, who had, before making the breakthrough to Sweden, been globe-trotting looking for a possible deal, could not believe his luck.

Moments after putting pen to paper, he wrote on social network Facebook: “This is the moment I have been waiting for all my life.”

He later gave an official interview to the team’s website: “‘I’m very happy and thank God for this chance. It has always been my goal to extend the contract with Kalmar FF, which is a good European club for me. It is not easy to come from Africa and get a contract in Europe so I’m really happy for this opportunity.”

Kalmar FF boss Klubbchef Svante Samuelson rates Gutu and Diouf highly. It seems the decision to pin down the players to 2015 is simply the club’s way to fend off interests from other clubs who were hoping to pounce after the expiry of the duo’s loan deals.

Spiros Toukilas, who is the agent for the two players, is also satisfied.

“Yes, both Archie and Papa have made a good impression both as players and people so for us it was an obvious decision to utilise our ability to extend the contracts,” said Samuelson.

Toukilas said: “Of course I’m happy to have succeeded in scouting for players for Kalmar FF.
Both players were on loan but I was never worried that there would be no extension. Papa and Gutu are happy with the club, city, teammates and coaches. To Kalmar FF fans, I can only say be sure to have Zimbabwe and Senegal flags and put the players into an even better gaming mood.”

After impressing Kalmar FF during a trial stint at the end of last year, Gutu joined the European club from Dynamos on a six-month loan deal that was due to expire at the end of June.

However, after impressing the club during the pre-season friendlies where the club played matches in Spain and Cyprus, Kalmar FF were convinced they had found their man.

Information obtained on the club’s website shows Gutu has effortlessly made his way into the club’s Under 21 and senior team squad.

He has played in almost all of the club’s friendlies, netting three goals for the club’s Under 21s and two for the senior side.

Gutu, who is slowly rising to become an integral part of in the Warriors set-up, having already played a full match for the national team in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Burundi last month, is expected to make his debut in the Swedish Allsvenskan League away to promoted GIF Sundsvall in two weeks’ time.

The Swedish league runs concurrently with the Zimbabwean league.

Gutu’s contract extension also means he will have a lifetime opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the best European footballers when his side plays in the Uefa Europa League next season.

Kalmar FF will be playing in the elite European competition after finishing as runners-up in last year’s edition of Sweden’s premier knockout tournament, the Svenska Cup.

They secured their Europa ticket after the Cup winners, Helsingborgs IF, also won the league title to get a spot in the more lucrative Uefa Champions League.