Zim prodigy makes waves in UK

HARARE - Thomas Chideu – a Zimbabwean teenage sensation recently on a three-month exchange programme in England – has attracted interest from struggling Barclays Premiership club Sunderland after banging 34 goals in 14 matches for Oswestry School.

The 17-year-old wizard from Highfield, Harare, was offered a place at the Shropshire school at the beginning of September. Oswestry has an exchange arrangement with Zimbabwe’s Prince Edward School, where Chideu is an ‘O’ Level pupil.

Chideu, who can play as a second-striker or as the target man upfront, announced his arrival at the 606-year old independent school in the best possible fashion, scoring an incredible 34 goals for one of UK’s leading sporting schools in a fairly competitive league in that part of the country.

Sunderland had been made aware of the Zimbabwean prodigy earlier in the year, but when a timely opportunity presented itself for Chideu to go to Oswestry, the Tyneside club followed the youngster’s progress with keen interest upon arrival in the UK.

In one of his matches for Oswestry watched by Sunderland scouts, Chideu plundered in all four goals for the school’s first team.

Oswestry headmaster, Doug Robb, is the brains behind the exchange programme between the English school and Prince Edward.

Robb is a former teacher at Prince Edward and coached the first XV rugby team, the Tigers, in 1995, and has maintained close contact with the famed Harare school since relocating to the UK. 

The exchange programme initially targeted rugby players, with the Tigers pair of Kudzai Zhou and Thabani Ndaba the first beneficiaries of the bursary in 2012.

Two more rugby players, Tarisai Musakanda and Sean Dlamini, were then admitted in January this year. An all-round sportsman, Musakanda was also recently named in Zimbabwe’s squad for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in the UAE in March.

But it is Chideu who might reap the biggest rewards of the UK stint to date.

Chideu’s attachment with Oswestry ended mid-December at the close of the schools term there, but he was allowed to train with the Under-21 side of Championship side Leicester City until last week, before flying back home last night.

Comments (1)

talent wil show whether in england or zimbabwe. kip the hardwork young man.

tinashe - 2 January 2014

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