The three D's pushed him to success

HARARE - Discipline, dedication and determination were the major driving forces behind former Zimbabwe international and Kaizer Chiefs striker Luke Petros’ career.

Petros spent the better part of his formative years as a footballer at the once vibrant CAPS United junior system based at Raylton Sports Club in the 90s.

The young Petros, who used to be a holding midfielder during those days, hoped for a smooth transition into the Makepekepe first team but that opportunity never arrived.

The lack of first team opportunities at the Green Machine forced the former Seke 2 High pupil to pack his bags and try his luck at the then top-flight side Mhangura.

Petros was spotted by Benjamin Zulu playing for his school in the Coca-Cola tournament and did not hesitate to move from the capital and try his luck elsewhere.

Although it was Zulu who lured the young midfielder to Mhangura, Petros would finally get his Premiership debut for the copper miners under Webster Chikabala in 1993.

Petros was to enjoy a fruitful four years at Mhangura where he played along the likes of Jani Milanzi and current Shabanie Mine coach John Phiri.

“After failing to break into the CAPS United first team, I packed my bags for Mhangura and that’s where I got my Premiership debut,” Petros says.

“I must say that it was the time that I enjoyed my game so much because the coach Webster Chikabala believed in me so much. Also other players made it easy for me to settle.”

With his profile growing, Petros was snapped up by Lancashire Steel in 1998 and that is where he was converted into a striker during the second half of his first season.

Petros went on to score a total 18 goals in that season for the Chimbi Chimbi Boys and was only three shy of eventual Premiership Golden Boot winner Zenzo Moyo of Highlanders.

If he started that season while playing upfront maybe he could have scored more goals than Moyo, who was at that time an established centre forward for Bosso.

Petros attributed his successful conversion into a top forward to his character.

“Dedication, discipline, determination and passion for the game inspired me to be a house hold name in the country,” recounts Petros.

“I was much disciplined. I listened to what the coaches said, the supporters as well because they are the custodians of the game and I above all I listened to my teammates with respect for everyone.

“They also respected me and in the end the environment was conducive for me to deliver.”

After setting the Premiership alight with his goals, it was not long before Petros caught the eye of Warriors coach Clemence Westerhorf.

The Dutchman called up Petros for his squad for the international friendly against Zambia in 1999.

Petros responded to the challenge by scoring on his debut for the national team in that match against Chipolopolo.

That goal was the beginning of a prosperous journey with the Warriors for Petros.

His exploits in the national team attracted the attention of South African glamour club Kaizer Chiefs.

Petros moved to Naturena in 2001. At the time the club had prolific goal scorers like Siyabonga Nomvete, Thabo Mooki and a young Jabu Pule.

Petros spent only a season with the Phefeni Glamour Boys, scoring a paltry five goals in 24 league matches as he failed to set the Super Diski as he had done in the Zimbabwean Premiership.

After calling his time at Chiefs, Petros got a call from former Mhangura club president Obert Dube, who was now at Shabanie Mine.

“After leaving Chiefs, I was involved in a car accident and as I was recuperating at home. Then Mr. Dube called and asked me to come to Shabanie to be an assistant to (Moses) Chunga,” he said.

“He said he was paying me back for the good work that I had done during my time with him at Mhangura. That was the beginning of my career in coaching,”

Petros, who is now head coach at Zifa Central Region Division One side Hwahwa Prisons, believes his worst game was a 1-0 loss to Chapungu at Baghdad Stadium.

The forward missed a penalty in that match, which was saved by Innocent Chogugudza.

“My worst game was against Chapungu when we were fighting relegation. We were at home and we were trailing by a goal to nil and we were awarded a penalty,” he recalls.

“Since I was a regular penalty taker I took the responsibility but my effort was saved by Chogugudza.

“It was a terrible experience because it was at a time that I was linked with a move back to CAPS United and the fans didn’t take it lightly.

“It was horrible week for me as I had to wait for the next match in which I scored a brace against Arcadia to prove my allegiance to Lancashire.”

Petros is now a devoted Christian and is a member of UFIC ministries.

Comments (1)

it is with great joy to learn how webster chikabala could look at a player and believe that he can become a great player......long live the chikabala legacy

Allan Webster Chikabala - 15 August 2015

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