BY FORTUNE MBELE
VETERAN former Warriors goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini, who is in the books of South African side Highlands Park, wants to continue playing for at least two more years and intends to end his career at Highlanders.
Kapini (36) suffered a career-threatening injury which sidelined him for the better part of the 2019-2020 Absa Premier Soccer League and recovered during the COVID-19-induced break.
He played the last few games of the league which ended at the weekend.
At the beginning of the year, the media was awash with conflicting reports on the veteran goalkeeper’s career, with some saying he had indicated to Highlands Park that he was calling it quits at the end of the season.
Yesterday, Kapini told NewsDay Sport that despite the injury and indications Highlands Park would be sold, he believed he still had what it takes and would play his last season at his former club Highlanders, if they took him.
“I still have the passion and fire in me that I think I have two or more seasons to play. If (Essam) El Hadary played up to the age of 47, who am I to retire at 36? I can’t do that,” Kapini said.
El Hadary is an Egyptian legendary goalkeeper who retired at 47 in 1998.Kapini said stories about Highlands Park being sold did not dampen his spirits.
“With reports of the team being sold and you might say I am at the twilight of my career; count me out of that zone. I still have the fire and have the determination that I will find a club here in South Africa. For now we just hang in there and see what the club is going to do or what the new owner is up to. We must have faith and hope that whatever happens the club will still be there,” he said.
Highlands Park has reportedly received an offer from TS Galaxy president Tim Sukazi for the PSL franchise but the deal is yet to be sanctioned by the PSL.Coach Owen Da Gama has been informed of the goings-on and awaits to hear from his bosses concerning his future.
Kapini said he was hoping to find a club in South Africa and had received a number of offers back home in Zimbabwe.
“If the worst comes to the worst and I can’t find a club in South Africa; if things get better in Zimbabwe, everyone knows my blood is black and white (Highlanders). I had some offers with other clubs in Zimbabwe, which I cannot divulge for now but if Highlanders are willing to take me, I will come and play my last season at Bosso like the legendary Joel Luphahla did, before I hang my boots. I need to play for my beloved club,” Kapini said.
He played for Highlanders from 2001 to 2006 and moved to South Africa where he joined Platinum Stars and then AmaZulu before he was snatched by Highlands Park in a career that has spanned 14 years, spiced by an illustrious showing for the Warriors.