Where are they now? George Mbwando

George “Zambia” Mbwando is one of the top names in Zimbabwean football, having made his name playing locally, abroad and with various national team set-ups.

George “Zambia” Mbwando
George “Zambia” Mbwando

Among the many highlights of Mbwando’s illustrious career was a move to Germany and featuring for the Zimbabwe Warriors at the 2004 and 2006 African Cup of Nations finals in Tunisia and Egypt, respectively.

Born in 1975, “Zambia” began his football career as a youngster with ZRP Tomlinson juniors. He turned professional at 20, when he joined former cup champions and African Cup Winners representatives, Blackpool.

“It was a great experience for me when I made it to the Blackpool first team at such a young age,” said the former Warriors star player. “I enjoyed the competition we always met in the domestic league. We always played to beat bigger teams like Caps United, Dynamos, Highlanders and Black Rhinos, who all had talent in their ranks.

“My first official game in the Premier Soccer League was against Black Rhinos in 1995 and we won it 2-1, with me having scored the first goal from 30 metres out. Alvin Chirimuuta and Edzai Kasinauyo always made things easier for me on pitch. I also remember the 1996 Charity Shield final, when I scored both goals as we beat Dynamos 2-1.”

In 1996, Mbwando who had featured for the national Under-23 side that starred and reached the finals of the 1995 All Africa Games in Harare, was lured by the Polish outfit Lech Poznań after a great debut season with Blackpool.

“I was enjoying my football when Lech offered me a one-year contract which I jumped for and excelled very well over there.”

After a successful career in Poland, Mbwando, who rated his former Blackpool coach, Maxwell “Malume” Moyo as “Top-Class”, returned home and joined minnows Jumbo Giants in the lower league, while awaiting his move to German.

In 1997, he joined German side Bonner SC, where he impressed, but just a few months in the team’s colours, he was snapped up by VfB Oldenburg, for who he played regularly.

“I enjoyed my stay in Germany, although I still found it a challenging experience. I had to work hard on a daily bases to keep my position in the starting line-up,” said the former star.

After a season with the club, the nomadic player was on the move again, joining rivals VfB Lubeck in 2000. He spent two seasons and helped them gain promotion to the Bundesliga in 2002.

In 2002, Mbwando crossed the flow to Alemannia Aachen, where he spent two seasons and reached the final of the German cup in 2004. From 2004–6, he was in the books of SSV Jahn Regensburg. After a two-year spell, left them for FC Ingolstadt 04, where he spent another two years.

Mbwando, who rounded up his professional career with VfB Friedrichshofen in 2009, still enjoys playing soccer at a social level. He now works for a private company in Germany as a financial advisor.

Post published in: Football
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