Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
HERENTALS forward Tino Benza says he still has a lot of work to do if he is to become a big name player.
The 20-year-old played arguably his best game since making his top-flight debut in 2018 when he turned on the show in the goalless draw against Dynamos last weekend.
So superb was his performance in that Chibuku Super Cup opener against the Harare giants he duly claimed the man-of-the-match accolade.
That this was his, just like other players, first competitive local match in over 15 months wasn’t evident as he played like a veteran.
Yet, he has elected to remain grounded, instead saying that the match (against Dynamos) is already water under the bridge and he is already preparing for his team’s next game against ZPC Kariba on Sunday.
“I have started the term on stronger terms although I remain disappointed that my team failed to register a win I feel we deserved. But, I am definitely not yet satisfied with the level I am at right now,” said Benza.
“Look, I am a footballer who is always challenging himself to perform well. This is the career path that I have chosen as a person and I can only become better by aiming higher.
“Of course, I played my heart out against Dynamos and it is always a great feeling to be named man of the match in a match against such a great team like Dynamos.
“But, I feel I still have a lot to do if I am to become the player I want to be.
“I need to work extra hard if I will be that player I have always wanted to become.
“I made my Premiership debut in 2018 as a 17-year-old and I think I have accumulated some bit of experience which I can use to transform my play.”
But, it is the way the youngster has vastly improved in all aspects of his game that had everyone asking how the lanky forward has been training during the lengthy Covid-19 induced lockdown.
“I think the lockdown was somehow a blessing in disguise to the way I have worked as a footballer.
“While my coach Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva was giving us individual training programs, I also saw the lockdown as an opportunity to self-introspect and I challenged myself to put extra work on my training.
“I started to do high altitude training and some intensive ball work. I have been training hard and I should say it helped me a lot.”
Benza has also received aspect-specific training from individual coaches, including Moses “Babo” Chunga and Eddie Mashiri.
Herentals are hoping to better their performance when they take on ZPC Kariba on Saturday and Benza believes the Students can have a say on the destiny of the Chibuku Super Cup.
“We need to retain our concentration levels and try to win our upcoming game against ZPC Kariba.
“This is the match we need to win at all costs if we are to entertain hopes of progressing to the quarter finals.
“We have what it takes and we need to apply ourselves well in this tournament.”