ESWATINI-born soccer player, Justice Figurreito, rejected by Highlanders in 2014 after being recommended by Colleen Nyambiya during the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games has now joined Absa Premiership outfit, Maritzburg United.
The former Manzini Sundowns and Sihlangu midfielder completed a half a million rand move last Friday becoming one of the two Eswatini players that will be plying their trade in the Absa Premiership together with Banele Sikhondze who has since made two league appearances for Polokwane City also home to Zimbabwe’s George Chigova.
In what could be reminiscent of the biblical, “Psalm 118:22 The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” turned to “the player Highlanders rejected has become Maritzburg United cornerstone”, the Bulawayo soccer giants could curse themselves should he become a big marvel.
When the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games came to Bulawayo in 2014 it presented some of our soccer teams a regional talent scouting opportunity right at their doorsteps but yet some rejected it.
This is the almost faded story of Nyambiya now heavily involved in talent scouting when he recommended one Justice Figurrreito to Zimbabwe’s Highlanders, a story whose subscription we carried here, but the Bulawayo giants would not even look at the youngster for a second.
Despite numerous stories penned, many of them so authenticated by confirmations from two of the three parties, the links to Tshilamoya simply died a natural death and the boy resigned to local soccer at Manzini Sundowns where his infant soccer stage into the MTN Premier League of Eswatini was laid by Rodwell Dhlakama.
Figurreito nonetheless, didn’t look back but preferred to soldier on both in club and national colours and out of the blue, a “bolt” 10-day-long trial at the Absa Premiership outfit Maritzburg United emerged.
Manzini Sundowns’ much prized asset, Figuarreito was cleared by the “Kappa Boys” on Friday night.
A source close to the matter asserted that the “Kappa Boys” submitted all the player’s paperwork on Friday after the two parties agreed to a transfer fee reported at E500 000.
“The player is likely to make his debut for Maritzburg after Sundowns cleared him. The two teams have agreed on a transfer fee for the player, including the personal terms which will see the player spend five seasons at Maritzburg,” the source said.
The former National Under-17 player won the hearts of the 2018 Nedbank Cup runners-up technical bench during a 10-day assessment during pre-season. Figurreito is the product of the Manzini Sundowns Academy.
Meanwhile, an Eswatini daily has reported that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) wants more referees from the southern African region.
Fifa Instructor Felix Tangawarima said he was in the country to make sure that they achieve what Caf wants, and also have more referees from the country officiating in international tournaments. Tangawarima, who is also a Technical Instructor, is in the country with Bento Navesse who is a Fitness Instructor for a five-day Fifa MA Refereeing course at the Technical Centre in Lobamba.
The course was officially opened by the Eswatini Football Association (EFA) President Adam “Bomber” Mthethwa on Monday.
“Theory is not a problem for the referees, but the challenge we are facing is errors in judgment. So our focus will be on the field of play during the five days. There is more pressure from Caf now as it wants more referees in category A and B to come from our region. We do have those referees but the numbers need to be improved,” he said.