Darikwa drops to defence at Chesterfield

Chesterfield star Tendayi Darikwa has started all his team’s six league matches of the current campaign at the right-back position in a development that could benefit Zimbabwe in the long run.

Tendayi Darikwa
Tendayi Darikwa

Darikwa, who was born in England of Zimbabwean parentage, has already expressed his willingness to play for the Warriors.

Although the 22-year-old made his professional debut back in 2010 as a defender, it was after being pushed into midfield that he caused a stir in English football. At one stage last season he was attracting interest from Premier League heavyweights Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton.

Chesterfield coach Paul Cook has however decided to field Darikwa at right-back on the team’s return to League One this season in what could ultimately prove an inspired decision for Zimbabwe, who have struggled to come up with quality players for that position in recent years.

Gilbert Mapemba was the last Warriors right-back of note, and since his demise not much has cropped up in the domestic league. A look at the Castle Lager Premiership’s big clubs shows just why this remains a problem position. Champions Dynamos rely mostly on young Blessing Moyo, while the versatile Eric Mudzikwa has had to fill in for Highlanders with some difficulties. CAPS United have Tapiwa Kumbuyani, who featured briefly for the Warriors in the past but has long exited the picture.

Darikwa recently signed a one year extension to his contract at Chesterfield, who have made a promising start to the season with four victories from their first six matches. Hardlife Zvirekwi, who has filled the position lately for Zimbabwe, plays in midfield at CAPS United.

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