Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
GEORGE CHIGOVA returned to club duties yesterday, exactly 16 days after he inspired the Warriors to a record sixth COSAFA Cup title, but the big goalkeeper revealed he was staying put at Polokwane City, at least for now. Chigova was the star of the show as the Warriors underlined their dominance of the 14-nation regional tournament with his heroic performances in the quarter-final and semi-final clashes against Botswana and Lesotho.
The big goalkeeper’s stunning displays, especially in the penalty shoot-out lottery, led to his coach Sunday Chidzambwa and goalkeepers’ coach Brenna Msiska to suggest that a move to either a bigger club or the European leagues was now ripe for the former Dynamos man.
Chidzambwa credited Chigova with “single-handedly helping us win this Cup and should now be playing in Europe’’.
Msiska, who has worked with a number of Warriors goalkeepers, also felt Chigova has outgrown the South African league.
“We are a country that is blessed with very good goalkeepers and the competition is very stiff. We can call on Edmore Sibanda, Donovan Bernard, Talbert Shumba, Takabva Mawaya . . . any of these can easily be our number one, so there is no time for anyone to relax,’’ said Msiska.
“But George has shown vast improvement over the years and what you are seeing from him is not a fluke.
“It is a result of a lot of hard work and I think he is now ready for Europe. I am so happy for him.
“The way he is playing even for his club shows that he deserves to go to Europe.
“I think he is now too good for the South African league and he has made us proud.
“I keep telling him that he has everything a goalkeeper needs, the height, the big frame and the agility and age is still on his side. With him in the team, you can rest be assured that we are safe,’’ said Msiska.
But as most of the South African ABSA Premiership teams started coming back together in preparation for the 2018-19 season, Chigova and fellow Zimbabweans Walter Musona and Dominic Chungwa trooped back to his modest club Polokwane City.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper, who had a brief and unhappy stint with SuperSport United, said he had not received any indication of any offers for a possible move from his agent just yet.
Chigova still has one year left on his three-year deal with Polokwane City.
The goalkeeper also revealed he had been warmly received by club-mates as they regrouped in Polokwane yesterday.
“It’s good to be back at work, so I am just working hard to continue with my form from the COSAFA games.
“So far, no offers yet have come my way and my manager hasn’t said anything about it. But I was well received, everybody congratulated me and they were happy about my achievement,’’ Chigova said.
He was also voted the COSAFA Cup goalkeeper of the tournament.
With pre-season just starting, Chigova said it was early days yet to tell whether the Polokwane City management would be adding new faces to the side.
“We just got back together today for the new season and there was no new face but we will see as the week progresses.
“Everyone is not happy with how we finished. We all agreed that we were below par last season and we are going to work hard and finish in the top eight this time around,’’ Chigova said.