JUNIOR Zindoga, the teenage Zimbabwean football player on trials at Swedish league side Djurgården, is determined to impress and get a contract at the club.BY HENRY MHARA
The 18-year-old former St George’s College student became an internet sensation last week after he was photographed during a friendly match between Djurgården and Vasalund, asking an opponent to tie his shoelaces as he couldn’t do it himself because of the cold weather.
The highly-rated striker arrived in Stockholm on Sunday last week and was quickly drafted into the team for a friendly match three days later, and, therefore, had not had much time to adapt to the climate.
Save for the weather, Zindoga said he is enjoying himself at the club, which is home to Warriors striker, Tino Kadewere.
Zindoga, speaking to the club’s website, said he is desperate to impress and make the grade at the club.
“I’ve been training with the team a few days now and the first day was a little tougher than usual because it is pre-season and it was quite hard physically, but it was good training. On Tuesday, however, it was a bit more ball in training before the match on Wednesday,” he said.
“I think it is a great opportunity for me to come here to Sweden and Europe. I’m living my dream and I have got a good feel for Djurgården. It is well organised and the guys in the team are friendly and pepper me if I make a mistake. The players always encourage me to do better and it helps me to integrate into the team.”
Zindoga also spoke about the cold weather in Sweden and how he is trying to cope
“Since it is a terribly cold here, I took a shower the first day and went directly outside into the minus zero degrees, while I was still wet to quickly adapt to the cold. So now I have got used,” he said laughing.
Zindoga becomes the third Zimbabwean to arrive at Djurgården, after Warriors striker Nyasha Mushwekwi, who made an impression at the club a few years ago before leaving for China, and Kadewere.
It appears the youngster is settling well at the club, and was at the weekend pictured enjoying a game of pool with his teammates.
“I have played both as a striker and right winger and I’ll summarise; my strengths are speed, dribbling and what I love most — to score. I’m not the type who talks a lot. My hope is that becoming a Djurgården player. But I am also looking forward to be here, to train at a high level and become a better football player. We’ll see what happens in the end,” he concluded.
Kadewere, who was part of the Warriors team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon, thinks his compatriot can make the grade at the club.
He did not mention the incident when he asked the opponent Peter Magnusson, who previously played for Djurgården, for help to tie his shoes.
Magnusson, however, said: “He asked me straight out if I could tie his shoes, so what do you do in this situation? That’s the least I could do for him, because his fingers had frozen. It was obvious that I had to help him.”