A CHANGE OF HEART . . . Zimbabwe youth internationals, Wisdom Mutasa (left) and Walter Musona have dumped their club in Sovakia and returned home, just a few months after making the grade in East Europe, in a move that has left their careers in limbo

A CHANGE OF HEART . . . Zimbabwe youth internationals, Wisdom Mutasa (left) and Walter Musona have dumped their club in Sovakia and returned home, just a few months after making the grade in East Europe, in a move that has left their careers in limbo

Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
JUST when it appeared all was well, Zimbabwe youth internationals Walter Musona and Wisdom Mutasa made a U-turn and unceremoniously dumped their new Slovak top-flight side SK Senec to return home this week, leaving their football careers in limbo.

The pair returned to Zimbabwe on Wednesday, just as their handlers at Aces Youth Academy had insisted that the players, who had endured a difficult start to life at the European club, had agreed to stay on and fight to secure regular places in the first team.

Walter is young brother to Belgium-based Warriors talisman Knowledge Musona and Wisdom is son to WhaWha coach Lloyd Mutasa.

Musona and Mutasa joined SK Senec at the end of August after impressing the club during a three-week trial stint in July and Aces Youth Academy director Nigel Munyati said he had impressed on the players that they needed to be patient while finding their stride in the tougher European environment.

The former FC Platinum players underwent a three-week trial at the Slovakian Super Liga outfit during which they impressed coach Eduard Pagac, who immediately initiated the start of contract talks, which culminated in SK Senec signing the pair.

Pagac was, however, shown the door before Walter and Wisdom had settled down with the club hiring a new coach Adrej Stellar.

Aces Youth Academy hold the rights to the players while former Warriors midfielder Kennedy Chihuri, who is now based in England, and European agent George Venglos were actively involved in facilitating Musona and Mutasa’s switch.

But the pair left Munyati and Venglos livid with their action while Lloyd Mutasa yesterday said he was still to get a full picture of what led to the players’ decision to leave Slovakia in a huff.

The players allegedly demanded to return home forcing Venglos to buy them air tickets.

SK Senec, who had registered the players on deadline day, are yet to formally terminate the agreement they had struck with Aces Youth Academy despite the players literally ending their marriage with the club following their abrupt decision to return home.

Lloyd Mutasa said he was still to meet with Munyati to get an understanding on what forced his son and his close friend Walter to end their stay in Europe just over a month after their arrival in the Slovak western town of Seneca.

The former Dynamos coach said he also wanted to establish what would become of the players given that they cannot join any new team at least until the next transfer window opens in January.

“I have had a chat with the boys and heard what they had to say but I am still to hear from Aces Academy and I will be getting some clarification from Munyati on what really transpired and what the future holds.

“As parents we hear that the contracts were terminated and I would like to know whether there will be any benefits for them as they return home, who is going to take care of them during the next three months before the transfer window opens because their contracts with FC Platinum had been terminated when they left for Europe.

“I am made to understand that the coach who came in after the one who had signed them openly told them they were not in his plans and that he ignored them even during training and did not give them instructions in English at training but instead always ignored them.

“When he spoke to them he is said to have used their national language (Slovak) even though there are two or three people who also speak English there.

“I also don’t know whether any reverse clearances have been issued so that they can plan their future but we are really concerned,’’ Lloyd Mutasa said.

But a livid Munyati claimed that the players’ behaviour had also dented Aces Youth Academy’s reputation and branded Walter and Wisdom as “misguided’’.

Munyati, whose institution has also previously produced such players like Darryl Nyandoro, Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat, accused Walter and Wisdom of reneging on the agreements that were in place “without consulting anyone’’.

“We are very disappointed and I can tell you that the way they did their things was not very clever.

“We signed an agreement with the Slovak club and I had no basis to terminate the contract because this was a great opportunity where the players could go to clubs in three European countries (Czech Republic, Austria and Slovakia).

“They just destroyed a wonderful opportunity for Aces Youth Academy as an institution, for the other players at the academy and for themselves. I don’t even know how they intend to proceed with their careers and as far as the FIFA system is concerned they have been transferred to Slovakia.

“It is very sad and very unfortunate but I cannot force them if they don’t want to stay there but I know that Venglos is an agent with the capacity to get them to places but you do not just start at the top,’’ Munyati said.

Munyati said Walter and Wisdom needed to understand that it was not peculiar to them that they had a tough start to life in European football as Africa was awash with such incidents involving many players that eventually rise to become starts such former Nigerian talisman Austin “Jay Jay’’ Okocha.

“In some cases you hear of stories of Africa players who never received handshakes from their teammates and were isolated but persevered. In their case they had been given an apartment which they shared and I think it was just a matter of time before things started to work out but they were not patient.

“Because of their actions we have also lost money including the $7 000 for the return air tickets which was due to be refunded by the club had they not left in the circumstances they did. The agent wrote a letter to me expressing his huge disappointment too,’’ Munyati said.