I owe it to my dad: Kadewere

HARARE - It's exactly four years since his father passed away but Zimbabwe international Tino Kadewere is still grateful for the life lessons he taught him.

Kadewere’s father, Onias was a former footballer himself before going on to become a coach later on in life.

At the time of his death in January 2014, Onias had played a part in nurturing many young footballers’ careers through his Highfield Football Academy which was located at the iconic Zimbabwe Grounds.

A host of young boys from the suburb and surrounding areas got their first taste of organised football at Highfield Football Academy before going on to make their names in the Castle Lager Premiership and beyond.

However, the academy’s most famous graduate is Kadewere, who now plays for Sweden side Djurgardens IF.

“It’s always painful when you lose your father and up until this day, I’m still hurting,” Kadewere told the Daily News from Cape Town, South Africa where he’s together with his teammates for pre-season training.

“The good thing is that before my father passed away, he taught me a lot of things and everything I’m doing both in life and on the pitch, I learned it from him.”

While most parents mollycoddle their children, Kadewere and his father enjoyed a good relationship that involved frank discussions especially when it came to football matters.

“He was very careful with my career. He wouldn’t let me join any other academy or club because he wanted me to top professional footballer,” the former Harare City forward said.

“He pushed me do to well both in school and in football. There was never a match that he missed wherever we were playing.

“I remember one game when I was playing for the national Under-17 team against Zambia at Gwanzura Stadium in 2012.

“The match finished 1-1; I scored a penalty for the Young Warriors and after breaking camp to go I thought he was going to congratulate me.

“I was in for a surprise because he was not pleased with the way I had performed and he was straight with me.”

Kadewere believes his father persistence and guidance are the reasons why he now playing for a top Swedish side.

“When I started playing football at my father’s academy I never imagined that I would be get here,” the 22-year-old said.

“Of course it’s the dream of every young player to get to the top but I never thought it would happen so early for me.

“My target now is to keep on working hard to improve my game and make my father proud wherever he is.”

Djurgardens finished in third place in the Swedish to flight last season and will e playing in the Europa League this year.

This will be Kadewere’s third full season with Djurgardens and wants step up his game so that he can be a regular starter in Ozcan Melkemichel’s side.

“Last season I was derailed by injuries but I’m in a better physical condition this time around,” he said.

“I just want to have a good pre-season here in Cape Town and when the season starts, I want to make it a bomb. Playing in the Europa League will be also good for me and hopefully I can score more goals.”

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