Nakamba targets better season with Villa

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BY FORTUNE MBELE
WARRIORS and Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba is hoping for a better 2022/23 English Premier League (EPL) season as his side starts its campaign on August 6 away to promoted Bournemouth, home to compatriot Jordan Zemura.

Nakamba endured an injury-plagued season, only returning to action towards the back-end of the campaign as Villa ended the last season 14th in the EPL.

“So far so good in the English Premier League, I have been with Villa for three years now. I am going back for the fourth season now. It has been full of ups and downs but I also think I have matured into it,” he told NewsDay Sport on the sidelines of Marvelous Nakamba Under-17 boys football tournament at White City Stadium in Bulawayo at the weekend.

“I am happy to be involved, the club is still in the Premier League and with the vision of the team and where it is heading, it is really exciting. My expectations now are to go back, start the new season, train hard and give everything to the club and hopefully the best will come out.”

The former Club Brugge midfielder came from rural Hwange in Matabeleland North province, where he was born and played his junior football at Njube Sundowns, Grassroot Soccer, Highlanders and then Bantu Rovers in Bulawayo.

In 2012, he played for Nancy in France before moving to Vitese in the Netherlands.

He joined Club Brugge, Belgium, in 2017 before Villa came calling two years later.

Nakamba was excited by the response to the inaugural tournament for the Under-17 and wants to expand its footprint to include the Under-13 and Under-15s and also girls.

“It’s a good feeling for me. This is where I started as well, playing these kinds of tournaments. I remember one time we went to the US for the Dallas Cup (with Bantu Rovers) and it inspired me. Now I think I can help other teams,” he said.

“We have the talent and we have the potential in Africa and Zimbabwe. It is really up to us to help these youngsters so that they can be motivated.

“With support, everything is possible. We are trying as the Marvelous Nakamba Foundation to support them whichever way, even the girls. The foundation is there for everyone.”

He added: “I am also happy to see all the children who came here to watch the tournament. It really inspired me and I also pray that this motivates them so they can believe that it is possible to live their dreams.”

The tournament was won by Majesa Academy of Mutare, who beat Highlanders 2-1 in the final.

The competition was, however, marred by age-cheating, which saw Dynamos being disqualified from the event.

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