Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
AFC Bournemouth’s Zimbabwean footballer, Jordan Zemura, has strong mentality helping him to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.
The 20-year-old appears to be a beneficiary of his father’s vision to make him study Sports Science at university.
Jordan’s father, Sam, wanted him to excel in his studies and only started to support him realise his football dream after noticing the athlete’s talent.
“Jordan was a very good student at school. His performance was well on the top of his group, although playful sometimes, like his peers,’’ said Sam.
“My ambition for him was to excel in his studies first, just like what all Zimbabwean parents want for their children.
“He didn’t disappoint as he did well at all levels and I made sure, since he wanted to play football, that he studied a relevant course, Sports Science at the Canterbury University.’’
Sam is also based in England.
“With the coronavirus outbreak upon us, Jordan has never shown any signs of anxiety and has coped well,’’ he said.
“He is young but you can see that he is ever jovial and does his training sessions well.”
The wing-back, who has been to Zimbabwe just twice since his birth in London, said his father’s advice for him to pursue Sports Science is proving to have been the right move.
“My father deserves all the credit. He supported me through thick and thin although, at first, he didn’t like to see me becoming a footballer,” said Jordan.
“But, as soon as he realised I was able to balance my school work and football, he started to fully support me.
“He is the one who even made me settle for Sports Science at the University.
“From my Sports Science background, I know disturbances do happen in the game and I am always prepared to handle any situation.
“I continue to work hard as my priority is to play week-in-week-out for my club Bournemouth. I am missing the real football atmosphere, though.”
The starlet is ready to represent Zimbabwe, when the opportunity avails itself, as his papers are well in order.
“I am Zimbabwean, a proud one for that matter. My father comes from Murehwa while my mother is from Chigondo in Wedza,’’ he said.
“I have been to both places.
“I am putting in extra hours into my training and I want to be able to command a first team jersey at my club, Bournemouth first.
“I am ready to help Zimbabwe qualify and win major tournaments. That’s everyone’s dream, to play for your motherland . . .”
Jordan started playing football at the age of six and, two years later, he was already in the books of Queens Park Rangers’ academy.
He moved from QPR before he spent seven years at Charlton Athletic where Bournemouth plucked him from last year.
Harare-based Mistry Chipere, who is behind a group called Zimbabwe Foreign Legends helping ZIFA track down Zimbabwean footballers dotted across the globe, believes Jordan has got a bright future ahead of him.
“I’ve been following Jordan Zemura for quite sometime now and I’ve watched him in action on numerous occasions and I personally believe he is a talented young player who can go places.
“He can easily follow the footsteps of Tendayi Darikwa, who easily cemented his place in the Warriors set-up, when he was called for national duty by former coach Sunday Chidzambwa.
“Jordan has received a lot of exposure while playing for AFC Bournemouth and I think he can be a vital cog in the Warriors’ machine in the 2021 AFCON and 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
“He is really a good player,” Chipere said.
He has trained with Eddie Howe’s first-team squad and came off the bench during the 3-0 win over Lyon in a pre-season friendly at Vitality Stadium in August last year.
Zemura started the Cherries’ first two group games in the Premier League Cup in 2019/20, featuring against Nottingham Forest and Stoke City.