TEAM Zimbabwe-UK have praised the progress being made by Zimbabwean players in the United Kingdom.
This follows a brilliant start by teenage forward, Panashe Makwiramiti, at his new club Eastbourne United AFC.
The 18-year old, who recently joined the English lower tier club on loan from Hastings, made an immediate impression with a man-of the-match performance at the weekend.
Makwiramiti caught the eye in the 3-0 victory over Broadbridge during the season opener.
“Goals from Panashe Makwiramiti, Alfie Peacock and Jayden Fitzpatrick give us the three points,” said the club on their social media pages.
“A strong start to the season from the boys. Best of luck to Broadbridge Heath for the rest of the season.
“Today’s supporters man-of-the-match could have gone to five or six players, but the award goes to Panashe Makwiramiti.
“Panashe got a goal and looked impressive in his first competitive match for the club.”
Makwiramiti recently had trials with Spanish Segunda Division side Rayo Vallecano and was offered an Under-18 contract, which he is yet to take up.
This was after he had impressed at Buckswood School where he played 13 games for the first team and scored 27 goals.
He also had two assists to his name.
The teenage sensation was snatched up by Hastings United Under-18 side.
He only played 10 games, scored eight goals and made five assists before Eastbourne United AFC came knocking.
Compatriot, Prince Mutswunguma, also got a new contract in the United Kingdom after signing for AFC Rushden and Diamonds.
The 20-year old forward was unveiled by the Northamptonshire-based club at the weekend.
“Prince Mutswunguma has today signed for the club. The former Cambridge United Youth player spent last season at St Neots where he scored nine goals in 26 matches as a striker.
“Prince has been on trial at the club and scored in our recent fixture against Bedford Town.
“Welcome to the club Prince,” the club said on their website.
The former Cambridge United and St Neots striker has revealed his passion to play for Zimbabwe in the future.
He was part of the group of UK-based players that travelled to Zimbabwe last year, under the Team Zimbabwe-UK initiative fronted by Marshall Gore, for trials with the national Under-23 team.
“It was a great experience,” he told the Cambridge Live.
“The league has just started out there, and we were playing our games before league matches, so there were loads of fans watching.
“I did quite well and made it onto the shortlist, so there’s quite a high chance I will make the team.
“AI also scored a penalty in one of the matches.
“It was also crazy seeing where my parents grew up and walking those same streets.
“AI found it inspiring, and it taught me that you should never give up.
“They had an English representative over here who was watching me at United and kept tabs on me when I was released.
“He saw me score in the FA Cup for Haverhill Rovers as the match was on BBC IPlayer and remembered me as the lad from Cambridge.
“He asked what I thought about playing for Zimbabwe, and while my dream growing up here was playing for England, there’s too many players ahead of me.”
Gore is also excited that the duo of Tendai Chitiza, who was once on the books of Serbian first division side FK CSK Pivara, and Cosmos Mathwasa, have committed with Stamford AFC 1896.
Chitiza joined the side at the start of last term from United Counties League Division One side, Anstey Nomads, and went on to enjoy a cracking maiden campaign at the club.
“Wishing you all the best this season.
“We’re delighted to announce the progress of some of our Team Zimbabwe UK Diaspora Football Players who have secured good moves during this window,” said Gore on his Twitter page.