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German starlet for Warriors

by Staff reporter
06 May 2018 at 10:06hrs | Views
HIS father Max Makanza Lunga is widely considered as one of Zimbabwe's finest football exports to Europe after a successful career with German side Bonner SC, where he scored 41 goals in 188 games from 1990 to 1998.

The 54-year-old former Warriors and Dynamos bulldozing forward also served as player-coach at other German lower-tier teams VfL Rheinbach [1998-2001] and SSV Bornheim [2001-2005] before his retirement at the age of 41.

While Lunga Snr, a three-time domestic Premiership winner with Dynamos, has now turned to full-time coaching as Under-15 coach of fifth-tier side FC Hennef 05, his son Kelvin has been steadily making a name for himself in the lower tiers of German football and could be set to follow in his footsteps by representing Zimbabwe.

In fact, the 23-year-old, who plays for SV Rödinghausen in the fourth tier of the German football league system, is set to receive his maiden call-up to the Warriors squad for the upcoming Cosafa Cup after a string of good performances in the last few months.

Warriors team manager Wellington Mupandare told the Sports Hub in an interview that they were in the process of regularising his paperwork with a view of including him in the Warriors' Cosafa squad.

Lunga Jnr holds a German passport by virtue of having been born in that country, but qualifies to represent the Warriors through his father.

"He's definitely in our future plans and if we manage to get his travel documents in time he could be available for selection for the Cosafa Cup title defence," Mupandare said.

"We have been following his progress in Germany for some time now and he's an exciting midfielder with a lot of pace and skill as well as an eye for goal.

"At the weekend he was on the scoresheet for his team, which shows his potency in front of goal. Remember we have been limited in terms of attacking options in midfield in the absence of the likes of Khama Billiat and Knowledge Musona and we believe he will give the coach more options going forward.

A skilful right winger with an eye for the goal, Lunga Jnr, who can play wide in midfield or as a striker, started his career at TSV Germania Windeck in 2013.

A year later he would soon retrace his father's footsteps by joining the youth football system of Bonner SC where his father is considered a legend.

Bonner SC has been home to several Zimbabwean players because of Lunga Snr's early impact, which paved the way for the likes of Farai Mbidzo, George Mbwando and Henry McKop, who all featured for the German club during their professional careers.

From Bonner SC, Lunga Jnr moved to the Under-23 side of former Bundesliga outfit FC Cologne in July 2015, but a cruciate ligament injury hampered his progress before returning to Bonner SC a year later.

His second stint at Bonner SC, however, lasted only a year as he soon left to join fellow Regionalliga West side, SV Rödinghausen, where he has been playing the best football of his promising career.

Lunga Jnr, who will be a free agent in June, is reportedly attracting the interest of several teams in the 3 Liga (German third division), which could be a pathway to the top two leagues in Germany, the 2 Bundesliga and the top tier Bundesliga.

The imminent call-up of Lunga to the Warriors squad represents another shift by the Warriors technical department in its efforts to integrate emerging talent from the swelling diaspora community.

The initial phase targeted players who were born in the United Kingdom to Zimbabwean parents, which has seen the likes of Leyton Orient forward Macauley Bonne, Nottingham Forest defender Tendai Darikwa, Kundai Benyu, who is at Oldham Athletic on loan from Celtic, Bradford City's Adam Chicksen, Wales-based Alec Mudimu, FC Halifax Town defender Cliff Moyo and Leicester City Under-23 striker Admiral Muskwe all being capped for the Warriors.

Reading FC midfielder Andy Rinomhota and Ipswich Town rising star Tristan Nydam are also on the radar of Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa.

Source - the standrad