Sekhukhune United veteran goalkeeper and club captain Tapuwa Kapini has not lost hope of reclaiming the No 1 jersey from Toaster Nsabata, revealing his wish to turn out for his childhood club Highlanders in his native Zimbabwe before hanging up his boots.
Kapini, 37, has only played in Sekhukhune’s first three league games of the season before Nsabata’s arrival at the club. The Zambian international , who is five years younger than Kapini, has been the man in goal for Babina Noko ever since. Even so, Kapini hasn’t despaired.
“Football is all about competition. If there’s someone who’s doing well ahead of you, you must be patient. Toaster is doing well at the moment but I won’t stop pushing him. There’s also Ayanda Dlamini, who’s a top keeper in his own right, so the competition is stiff. Whenever I get a chance to play, I’ll grab it with both hands,” Kapini told Sowetan.
Kapini may be 37 but retirement seems to be the last thing on his mind as he still wants to fulfil the promise he made to “Bosso”, as Highlanders are affectionately known at its Bulawayo base, to play at least one season before retiring.
The Sekhukhune man is also inspired by legendary Italian shot-stopper Gianluigi Buffon, who’s still playing at the age of 44, having recently penned a new two-year deal with second-tier side Parma.
“I haven’t thought about retirement yet. All I am thinking about is just go to training every morning and do well… motivate these young boys that if I can play at my age, what about them?
I promised my former club back home in Zim that I won’t retire before I play for them again for at least one year… that’s on my mind. I want to make sure it happens,” Kapini said.
“Buffon is 44 and in Africa people expect us to retire at 37… imagine. Seeing Buffon still going strong is a huge inspiration for many of us.”