Criticism helps me: Mateyaunga

HARARE - Being a goalkeeper is one of the most difficult positions to play in football.

An infield player can miss a glorious chance and supporters will quickly forget about it after the match.

However, a goalkeeper does not have such luxuries because a single howler can make or break your career.

Just log onto YouTube and you will see how Massimo Taibi’s Manchester United career was destroyed by his calamitous goalkeeping in the 5-0 defeat to Chelsea during the 1999-2000 season.

Dynamos goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga is slowly finding that it can be hard to be the number 1 of a big club.

After Tatenda Mkuruva left for South Africa last year, Mateyaunga together with Ashley Reyners and Blessing Mandimutsira have been fighting for that DeMbare number 1 jersey.

Mateyaunga seems to be the front runner but the hard-to-please Dynamos fans are still not yet convinced.

The former ZPC Kariba and Black Mambas goalkeeper is fully aware of the challenges that come with being a DeMbare goalkeeper.

“In football you sometimes get criticised and the pressure is always there but you have to just keep on going,” Mateyaunga told the Daily News on Sunday.

“You are always going to make a mistake at times in football but your character is judged by how you react and come back after a mistake.

“All the good players are the ones that have been able to recover from mistakes and gone on to be great players.”

Dynamos have been outstanding in the second half of the Castle Lager Premiership season and find themselves in a good position to challenge for the title.

The Glamour Boys have been able to win their last six matches while keeping five clean sheets in those victories.

Mateyaunga has started the last three matches since returning from injury and is convinced that he is now in a right shape to make the number 1 jersey his own.    

“I would like to thank God for the opportunity He has given me to be able to play this year,” the DC Academy graduate said.

“It has been hard for me ever since I came to Dynamos because I was interrupted by lots of injuries.

“This season it’s been better; I’ve managed to play a lot of games and I have contributed towards the team’s success.”

“Obviously, I always try to do my best because if I get a clean sheet that means the team is guaranteed a draw or a win. So I will do my best to keep clean sheets whenever I play.”

While still at ZPC Kariba, Mateyaunga and his teammates agonisingly lost out on winning the championship on the last day of the season in 2014.

ZPC needed to avoid a defeat against CAPS United but went onto lose 3-2 at Gwanzura Stadium allowing DeMbare to sneak from behind to claim the championship.

Mateyaunga is still hurting from that failure.

“It has been in my head for a long time now. If I don’t win the title this year, it will be the third time I would have missed out,” he said.

“Last season with Dynamos we also failed to win the championship but this time, I’m doing my best to help the team win the championship.”

As a parting shot, the Dynamos goalkeeper had a few words for those that think he is not up to the task.

“All my critics will be proved wrong come December. I’m not a bad goalkeeper and whenever I get a chance to play, I will do my best.”

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