‘Rosen is smil­ing from his grave’

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT - Don Makanyanga

Pre­mier­ship foot­ball but strug­gled with kit. I was too small so I had to roll up the shorts and tuck the jersey in so that I could run,” re­called Matawu.

At Mo­tor Ac­tion, Matawu played along­side Prince Ma­tore who later be­came his coach af­ter the mid­fielder re­turned from a short stint in Poland. Fran­cis “Gazza” Jey­man, Salim Mi­lanzi, Alis­ara Kon­dowe, Ti­nashe “Fa­ther” Nen­go­masha, Alvin Ndun­duma, Mavuto Cha­pani, Mike Bin­gadadi and Ed­more Mufema were also part of the team. All have long since re­tired. At the Mighty Bulls, Matawu was a favourite of club own­ers Eric and Liz Rosen.

“My story would not be com­plete with­out men­tion­ing the Rosen fam­ily, Eric the late and my other mum El­iz­a­beth. They taught me the virtues of life and took me in as their own son. Up to now I still get in touch with Mai Rosen, she is a good mother,” said Matawu.

In 2009 Matawu was shipped to Poland thanks to Wies­law Grabowski’s in­flu­ence and played for Divi­sion One side Podbeskidzie Biel­sko Biala un­til June 2010. He moved a rung up into the Ek­strak­lasa, Poland’s top flight league, where he fea­tured for Polo­nia By­tom un­til 2011.

How­ever, in­juries dogged Matawu and he re­traced his foot­steps to Mo­tor Ac­tion, be­fore mov­ing to Chicken Inn in 2013 where he won the only Pre­mier­ship medal of his 16-year jour­ney in 2015.

Al­though his stint in Poland was short-lived Matawu, looks back at it with­out re­grets.

“I would need the whole day to talk about the enor­mous ex­pe­ri­ence I got LIZ ROSEN reck­ons her late hus­band Eric is smil­ing in his grave as Cle­ment Matawu con­tin­ues to do busi­ness in the Cas­tle Lager Premier Soc­cer League.

Matawu joined the now de­funct Mo­tor Ac­tion in 2001 and was last week cel­e­brated as one of the best play­ers to have played in the top flight since its for­ma­tion 25 years ago.

“I know Eric is def­i­nitely smil­ing,” said Liz. “Of all the play­ers we had at Mo­tor Ac­tio,n this boy still stands head and shoul­ders above the rest. It’s been 16 years since he made his de­but but Cle­ment still has that hunger, con­tin­ues to work hard and most im­por­tantly he is a gentle­man on an off the pitch.”

Liz re­vealed how Matawu warmed his way into Eric’s heart.

“Mr Rosen had a very soft spot for Cle­ment and treated him like his son. He took care of his ed­u­ca­tional needs from Form One from Poland. That was the best mo­ment in my foot­ball life. I learnt most of the per­sonal train­ing tech­niques I fol­low re­li­giously in that coun­try.”

Matawu, who en­joys a bot­tle of wine once in a while, also ap­pears to ben­e­fit from be­ing a stu­dent of Sports Sci­ence and Coach­ing at the Na­tional Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy.

“Sport is sci­en­tific and needs to be stud­ied. I am a sports per­son and I want to take the route of sports sci­ence when I hang up my boots,” said the mid­fielder.

With the 2017 race go­ing into the last four games, and Chicken Inn still in with a chance to win it, Matawu doesn’t want to talk about the end of this cam­paign.

“We will judge our sea­son at the end of it, now it’s still pre­ma­ture,” he said. till the time he com­pleted his stud­ies at Churchill. He was so proud of him. Matawu be­came part of our fam­ily to­gether with his fam­ily.

“What made Eric love the boy so much was the fact that the boy is dis­ci­plined, very re­spect­ful and al­ways loyal. His (at­ti­tude to) al­co­hol and smok­ing could be one of the se­crets that has made him the player that he is to­day,” she said.

Al­though the Mighty Bulls are out of busi­ness, Liz said she drew sat­is­fac­tion from see­ing for­mer Mo­tor Ac­tion play­ers like Matawu, Pass­more Bernard and Charles Sibanda among the PSL’s lead­ing lights.

“I al­ways fol­low the ca­reers of our for­mer play­ers but I have spe­cial in­ter­est in Cle­ment be­cause he is my son. Once again he has had a good sea­son and I hope he caps it all by win­ning this year’s league ti­tle,” she said.

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