Zim star impresses in Ireland

Hailing from eMakhandeni in Bulawayo, 23-year-old Oscar Sibanda is destined for great things in the football fraternity as he continues to impress as a member of Irish Premier League outfit, Galway United.

Oscar Sibanda who has reached great heights playing for Irish Premier League team, Galway United.
Oscar Sibanda who has reached great heights playing for Irish Premier League team, Galway United.

Inspired by his uncle, Mduduzi, who played football with him as a child, Sibanda started fell in love with the game in Primary School at Mathambo in Plumtree and then Mtshingwe Primary in Bulawayo.

His talent was soon recognised when he trained with Highlanders U-13 team, before leaving for Solusi High boarding school where he continued to play soccer. He migrated to Ireland at the age 18 to join his family, and that is when he decided to venture into football full time in 2006.

The first club he played for in Ireland was East Meath United U-18. He was a striker and top goal scorer for the team in 2007. It wasn’t long before he was snatched away

by Shamrock Rovers U-20's where he also had an impressive season, prompting the Football Association of Ireland to take him on board.

The nomadic Sibanda moved to Drogheda United reserves side in 2009 and featured only a season and a half for them, before packing his bag again to move to Shelbourne reserves for the remainder of the 2010 season. Sibanda’s dream came true in 2011 when he signed for Galway United where he is earning a reputation as a top goal scorer.

“I have developed as a player and, with the experience I have, I would appreciate being given a chance to help my country reach top levels,” said the player.

He talks highly of Manchester United stylish midfielder, Nani, and other Zimbabwean players who inspired him.

“Nani drives me crazy. I like his progression and his style of play. Not forgetting my home boys who I also value very much, the likes of Johannes Ngodzo, Gift Lunga Junior and retired legend Peter Ndlovu,” he added.

Setting his sights on the Warriors, Sibanda believes he has a big part to play in helping his country reach greater heights.

“I am now ready to don our national team colours and I have turned down a lot of offers to represent Ireland at an international level because I love my country very much. I have grown and matured as a player during my time in Europe, and I hope to bring my experiences home,” he said.

Sibanda’s message to his peers is: “I would like to encourage young up coming footballers not to give up. They must believe in themselves and do what they love most and they will get their reward.”

Post published in: Football

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