Balakasi relishes Premier League return

Tinashe Balakasi

RECORD-BREAKING forward Tinashe Balakasi is looking forward to a successful return to the top flight league after netting an unprecedented 29 goals to help Shamva-based Simba Bhora win Ruyamuro Northern Region Division One championship this year.

Balakasi had an unsuccessful stint with Harare City a few years back while his opportunity with CAPS United suffered a false start due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The 31-year-old striker bettered an eight-year goal scoring record for the second tier league achieved by Kasimero Chimbadzwa, who netted 22 goals for ZRP FC in 2014.

But now the player, who has found his mojo, believes he has a shot at redemption in the premier league next season.

“Coming back into the premier league is redemption time for me. I want to correct the mistakes I made when I had an opportunity to play there and I did not achieve much.  I don't want to promise much, but naturally as a striker I want to fight for the golden boot. It all begins with one goal and then I can build from there,” Balakasi told The Sports Hub.

At the beginning of the season Balakasi set a target of 25 goals and managed to score four more than his initial target.

He speaks on his achievement.

“Scoring 29 goals was something I didn't expect at the start of the season because my target was 25 at first.  All the goals I scored after that were a bonus. But when I reached 25 my new target was 30 and I came close to achieving it, so overall I am happy,” he said.

After helping the team win the league title and the Independence Cup, Balakasi failed to inspire Simba Bhora to the Axis Solutions Super Cup triumph after losing 2 - 0 to rivals Golden Eagles.

Balakasi expressed his disappointment at the loss to Golden Eagles.

“It was a massive blow for us because we wanted to win all three tournaments in a season where we won the Independence Cup and the league. However, Golden Eagles were better than us and they won,” the former Harare City striker said.

Balakasi’s career began at Derbyshire Academy in Highfields under the tutelage of coach Innocent Makoto before he moved to Budiriro Gunners in Division Two.

He also played for Mushowane and then Harare City and Simba Bhora for his first stint with the club.

In 2020 Blakasi joined CAPS United and returned to Simba Bhora last year.

The player popularly known as ‘Maswera’ reflected on how football changed his life as well as his dream to don the Warriors colours before hanging up his boots.

“Football has changed my life in so many ways because I rose from a mere farm boy, at Pension Farm in Glenview, to the celebrity that I am today. It's something that even my parents can't believe. All that I have at the moment I owe it to football. I will be starting a business soon so that I have something to fall back on when a football career is over," he said.

“But before that it is my dream to play for the national team before I retire. I want to represent my country, which is a good thing for every player."

Balakasi is proud to have helped a team from Shamva into the premier league and was full of praise for the supporters.

“It’s something which is making us very proud as players, the community of Shamva and the whole Mashonaland Central. As for the fans they support our team wholeheartedly and they are promising to come in their numbers in the PSL. We hope they will keep supporting us in the league as we fight to survive relegation in our first season,” said Balakasi.

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