It's for you, dad: Matova

HARARE - Some parents see their children as extensions of themselves and go to great lengths to make them succeed in an attempt to make up for their own failed dreams.

Others are not overly concerned whether their children help them to resolve their own feelings of regret and disappointment but just find comfort in seeing their offspring succeed.

For Dynamos young defender Romario Matova both scenarios are alien to him given he lost his father at the age of four.

Born in the football-crazy township of Highfield to Daniel and Grace Matova, the left back had to face the hush side of life after tragedy struck early on when he was still a child.

“My dad was a staunch Dynamos supporter, who would go to the stadium as early as 11 in the morning to watch the curtain raisers from the juniors,” Matova recalls.

“He would know all the players from the juniors of those days from Under-14 to Under-18 and then he would watch the reserve side and first team play as well. Sadly, he did not leave to see the talent in me.”

That loss instilled a drive in Matova which saw him pursue a career in football in order to honour his late father.

And there was only club on the young defender’s mind – that was Dynamos. After excelling at the Glamour Boys’ junior ranks, Matova was promoted into the first team last season.

The young defender did not disappoint as he was given a decent run of games last season by coach Lloyd Mutasa.

Matova’s form was one of the reasons why Mutasa opted to push captain Ocean Mushure into midfield. 

DeMbare pushed champions FC Platinum right up to the wire and missed out on the title by just two points.

The fact he has been able to compete for a starting berth in the team against a seasoned campaigner like Mushure greatly highlighted Matova’s abilities.

For the past couple of seasons, Mushure has been one of the standout performers for the Glamour Boys highlighted by his place on the Soccer Star of the Year calendar for the past two seasons.

This has made Matova a cult hero among the Dynamos fans which has since raised the bar for the young defender to work harder.

At the club’s 2017 award gala, Matova was named the Glamour Boys’ Young Player of the Year.

After the brilliant 2017 season, Dynamos have struggled to be the same team they were this season, as they currently sit in 13th place on the log with 22 points from 20 matches.

Subsequently, Matova’s form has also taken a heavy knock as he is now struggling to cement a regular place in the team.

However, with his drive to make his late father proud, the 18-year-old is working had to regain his place in Mutasa’s team. 

“It has not been easy but I have been enjoying my experience so far. I am just hoping to play my best when I get the chance and hopefully I can be among the top 11 best players at the end of the season,” he said. 

“Brushing shoulders with experienced campaigners has allowed me to broaden my skills quicker that I could expect.

“Yes, you may make mistakes here and there but when you at a big club like Dynamos, you have to be on your toes. I feel I have grown. I just have to keep working at my game so that I get better.”