Tadious Manyepo

Sports Reporter

HERENTALS mainstay, Godfrey “Marabha” Mukambi, used to be a prolific striker before the late iconic coach Friday “Amayenge” Phiri moved him into deep roles in midfield and defence.

That’s a little more than a decade ago at Division One side Border Strikers.

It was his goals that played a huge part in the promotion of the Beitbridge team in 2015, the same year he also won the Southern Region Soccer League’s Player of the Year Award, after scoring eight goals.

Mukambi played alongside Herentals teammate John Zhuwawu and Dynamos captain Frank Makarati during that campaign.

He has now gone for close to eight years playing either in defence or in midfield, making a name for himself at Dynamos between 2017 and 2018 before crossing the floor to Yadah in 2020 and then settling at Herentals last year.

The 32-year-old is increasingly becoming the go-to man for Herentals whenever the Students are scanning for goals.

He has rescued them three times this season with his goals giving the team a seven-point net on the Premiership log table.

Deployed mostly to mop up play in midfield, where he has partnered either Blessing Phiri or William Kapumha, Mukambi has been putting in a lot of work into the game and is always probing in the attacking third.

“I played as a striker the whole of my footballing life until I met Friday Phiri at Border Strikers. I was the youngest player in that team and he liked the way I was carrying myself, I mean in terms of my energy levels,” said Mukambi.

“So, he said he wanted me to play as a defensive midfielder. 

“While others would go home after training, he would give me extra training, making me carry bags with stones because he wanted to toughen me.

 “Within a short period of time I was in the groove and I started playing as a central midfielder or defender. I would say, it is Friday Phiri who made the Godfrey Mukambi that you see today.

 “But I never stopped venturing forward and this is what I am simply doing this season. 

“I want to keep on scoring and providing those passes for others to score as well. I am happy at Herentals, as is everyone, so we need to make sure that we win as many games as we can and see where we will be at the end of the marathon.

 “We don’t speak of relegation at Herentals. We are a good team with quality players and we need to compete, not fight relegation.”

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