Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
GARIKAYI Nyagurungo, the father of teenage football sensation Brendon, has never been closer to any coaching clinic but circumstances have forced him to act like an expert in the field.
He has also had to play the role of psychologist, juggling all that with his profession as an accountant.
And, he has managed to, at least, school his son on the dangers and reality of Covid-19, which has not only kept the footballer indoors, but forced him to cut short his stint at Cayor Foot Academy in Senegal.
He was en-route to Europe three months ago.
“I am no psychologist, neither am I a football specialist but, for now, I have had to make sure that I manage an aspiring high-profile footballer after my son, Brendon, returned home from his base in Senegal,” he said.
“Since he touched down in March, I have been counselling him and I have to always check on him just to make sure he is keeping his focus.
“Discipline is the key for him to attain his dream and I make it a point that he stays in the right lane and surrounded by the right people.
‘’I also encourage him to follow his workout programmes religiously. I am not an expert in this field but I have to play my role as a parent.”
Nyagurungo is under the wings of Cayor Foot Academy in Senegal, after he joined the institution straight from Prince Edward School, last year.
He had spent hardly a month at the academy when he, and his teammates, were rushed back to their respective homes following the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic.
“I left the country early this year and arrived in Senegal safely. The reception was warm and I was starting to gel with the rest of the squad when, all of a sudden, we were told to prepare to go back to our respective countries,” said Brendon.
“It was somewhat confusing but we all understood the situation. Covid-19 was, indeed, travelling fast and we had to be faster back to our respective homes.
‘’At first, you think you are dreaming then you realise that it is actually true that we are supposed to go home.
“Look, we are talking of dreams here. I had taken the first huge step towards realising my dream and, here I am, home and not sure of what the future holds.”
Nyagurungo was spotted by Cayor Foot Academy while turning for Prince Edward Academy and the Dynamos side, which plays in Division Two, between August and November last year. He joined the academy early this year and was supposed to spend, at most, six months before going for trials in Europe.
The academy ships, at least, 100 African players to European teams every year and Nyagurungo is the first Zimbabwean to break into their system.
Warriors’ midfielder Marshal Munetsi’s Stade de Reims teammate, Dialy Ndiaye, was nurtured at this academy.
“Obviously, as an aspiring professional footballer, I am disappointed that the pandemic had to come when I was staring right at my breakthrough moment,’’ he said.
“The right thing was, obviously, for us to return home and stay safe. I am always at home and I adhere to the health guidelines put in place by the authorities.
“As a footballer, I am always used to training with others but, for close to three months, I have been training alone. It’s very confusing.
‘’I am lucky, though, to have a family which is so supportive.’’