Zimbabwe’s football problem child, Roderick Mutuma, is targeting the 2017 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League top goal scorer award after his move from Dynamos to bitter rivals Highlanders.
Mutuma, whose career chronicles as many controversial incidents as there are finer achievements, says he is ready to reclaim the Golden Boot Award he won in 2011 with 15 goals before he moved to South Africa to play for Bloemfontein Celtic.
Mutuma said he wants to perform wonders in the black and white Highlanders colours in order to reclaim his jersey in the Warriors squad for the Africa Nations Championships for which the Warriors have been drawn to face Namibia in the qualifying round.
Mutuma added that he wanted to reward Highlanders coach Errol Akbay for his faith in him after having failed to settle at the other two of Zimbabwe’s most popular football teams, Caps United and Dynamos.
Mutuma who has made headlines for arguing with referees and for hand exchanges with team mates and opponents alike says he has left all that behind him and is now a new man with new dreams.
“I have had my problems but that is the past. I have repented and am in the best shape of my career. My aim is to be the country’s top goal scorer and also win the league title with Highlanders. I owe a lot to Errol and to the Highlanders family for accepting me,” said the former Warriors striker.
Highlanders on their part are not worried about Mutuma’s previous escapades as long as he is willing to change at Bosso. The team’s assistant coach Cosmos Zulu is straight to the point, “We don’t care about what happened at his previous clubs. Actually, that is not our concern. We have our own rules and what is of concern to us is that he is now a Highlanders player and he has to play by our rules,” said Zulu.
Akbay himself has faith in the 29 year old. “Mutuma is a good striker and as a technical department and considering our style of play, I can see him scoring between 20 and 25 goals this season,” said Akbay.
Highlanders are desperate to win the league title after last claiming the championship in 2006. The popular Bulawayo club are also the only ones of the traditional giants not to have won the league title since Castle Lager came on board as the league’s sponsors in 2011.
Dynamos won the title for four years running between 2011 and 2014 while Caps United’s chance came last season. Sandwiched between Dynamos and Caps United titles were Highlanders’ neighbours who took the championship in 2015.
Mutuma, however, believes this is Highlanders’ year adding that he will be key to that success. The gangling striker who was born in Mvuma on 5 April, 1988, laughed off suggestions that he is now a spent force. “I am stronger than I was before. I know they will start talking something else when I give them the goals,” said Mutuma.
The question, however, is: Will the goals come?