Denver thrown lifeline as Wits extend his contract

HARARE - Zimbabwean midfielder Denver Mukamba has penned a new one-year contract extension with South African Premiership side Bidvest Wits to dispel fears the former Dynamos wizard would be offloaded.

Mukamba’s manager, Gibson Mahachi, told the Daily News that the 2012 Soccer Star of the Year has been given another season to try and make his mark with the Clever Boys in the South African league.

The ex-Glamour Boys talisman has struggled to make an impact in South African football since moving there in January 2013, sparking debate as to why some of the Zimbabwean league’s most revered footballers of recent times have flopped so spectacularly in Mzansi. 

At Wits, the 22-year-old playmaker has toiled under the burden of expectation, having arrived at Braampark with an outstanding reputation as Zimbabwe’s footballer of the year for 2012.

With several Zimbabwean players being sent back home from South Africa in recent times, the most recent case being Rodreck Mutuma’s return to Dynamos following a unsuccessful spell at Bloemfontein  Celtic, Mukamba was also expected to head back home.

“They (Wits) want him to stay. Technically he is still contracted to the club. His initial contract was coming to an end at the end of June but there was option for an extension, and the club decided to extend it by another year,” Mahachi said.

Mukamba’s career in South African has not taken off as many expected from a player who, in his prime, was simply unplayable in Zimbabwe. 

Helping Dynamos win back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, everything he touched turned to gold, even prompting former Zimbabwe coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels to name him Warriors captain in 2013. He has since lost his place national team place under Ian Gorowa’s stewardship.

In South Africa, Mukamba’s progress was halted by injuries upon arriving at Wits and he struggled to adapt to the demands of the Super Diski.

Mahachi, meanwhile, believes the DC Academy graduate will rediscover the form of old that made him a household name in Zimbabwe when the 2014-2015 Absa Premiership starts in August.

“When the last season started Denver was a regular in Gavin Hunt’s team but he suffered a muscle injury that ruled him out for five months,” said Mahachi.

“He only started full training towards the late stages of the season and it was difficult for him to get into the team.

“We are just hoping that when the new season starts he will be fully fit and he will get some game time. The fact that the club has offered to extend his contract shows that they have confidence in him.”

Mukamba started only six games for Wits last season, playing in a central midfield position on most occasions.

Gavin Hunt’s men finished the season in third place behind record champions Mamelodi Sundowns, who amassed an impressive 65 points.

The Clever Boys also missed out on silverware when they lost 3-1 to Orlando Pirates in last weekend’s Nedbank Cup final.    

Meanwhile, other Zimbabwean players Benjani Mwaruwaria and Thomas Sweswe have already announced that they will be leaving Braampark during the off season.

The future of midfielder Tinashe Nengomasha with the Clever Boys is also not clear after he fell out of favour with Hunt.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.