Tino Kadewere braces for defining season




Tino Kadewere

FRANCE-based Warriors striker Tino Kadewere is “highly motivated” as he braces for what could be a defining second season for the Olympic Lyon forward.

The 25-year-old is now expected to play a crucial role for Ligue 1 giants Lyon following the departure of Memphis Depay to Barcelona.

He has recovered from a thigh injury, but he missed yesterday’s league opener against Brest, as new Lyon coach Peter Bosz decided against risking the Zimbabwean star.

His recovery is good news for Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic, who is eager to have him for Zimbabwe’s crunch World Cup qualifier against South Africa next month.

“Firstly, I want to say I am highly motivated ahead of the new season. I have been working extra hard and I still need to work more so that I can be back to 100 percent fitness,” Kadewere told The Sunday Mail Sport yesterday.

He played 33 times in the league, scoring 10 goals for Lyon, who clinched fourth spot in the 2020/2021 French Ligue 1 and a place in the Europa League.

“Last season was great, but I hope this season will be greater.

“I am looking forward to the best; my only target is being able to qualify for Champions League next season.”

Last season, he was Lyon’s third-highest scorer behind new Barcelona signing Depay (20) and Karl Toko Ekambi (14), despite being deployed on the wing for most of the matches.

A thigh problem, however, forced him out of Lyon’s last matches of the season.

He underwent a surgery on May 19, before heading back home for the offseason holiday.

“I am happy that I am being able to be part of the team in the start of the season. It was not easy with the surgery and all, but I want to thank God, my family, friends and all the fans for the love and support that they gave to me.

“I am now going to make sure I work extra hard to be 100 percent fit and be ready for the World Cup qualifiers.

“The offseason break helped me a lot as I got to be with the family, and that is the most important thing for me.”

His brother Prosper, who also manages Tino’s local affairs, also spoke about the Lyon star’s motivation to do well for Zimbabwe.

“It hasn’t been easy getting through to Tino in recent days because he is working extra hard to get back to full fitness.

“Whenever we talk about Zimbabwe, he is always reminding me of his determination to help the nation in the World Cup qualifiers,” said Prosper. – Sunday Mail