SEA OF COURAGE . . . Explosive Dynamos left-back Ocean Mushure crowned a fine debut season by landing the Most Disciplined Player award. — Pic Believe Nyakudjara. When the Soccer Star of the Year awardfinalists were announced in Harare a fortnight ago, there was one man who felt he should have been among the 11 elite Premiership footballers for the year 2012.
But soccer fame has a tendency of evading otherwise impressive players. Recognition is usually given to strikers and midfielders and rarely does the spotlight fall on defenders. Dynamos wing-back, Ocean Mushure, is a victim of this traditional system.
He is DeMbare's unsung hero, a cultured left-back who thrives on endurance and whips in dangerous crosses that have become Dynamos' main source of crucial goals. He also has a knack of unleashing booming long range shots that often catch ‘keepers off-guard.
One of Mushure's threatening forays on the left flank resulted in one of Dynamos' two goals in their 2-0 win over Monomotapa in the $US250 000 Mbada Diamonds Cup final played at Rufaro Stadium last Saturday. "Gungwa" as Mushure is popularly known as, is generally a withdrawn person who always shies away from the limelight. Even at the club's pick up point along Innez Terrace Street in the city centre, one rarely notices him as he is not one of those outspoken personalities.
He is either hooked onto his mobile phone playing games or seating quietly in one of the team members' car. During away trips, he always has his ear phones plugged on and rarely joins in the endless jokes that are cracked on the team bus. Mushure is the embodiment of mannerism, he initiates Dynamos attacks with ruthless perfection and is arguably one of the best wingbacks in the country. He lets his talent do the talking on the field of play.
It came as no surprise when he was named Dynamos' Most Disciplined Player at the club's End of Year awards ceremony held in the capital on Friday night. "At least with this award I have some form of consolation. Honestly, I feel I should be among the top eleven football players for 2012 but somehow I missed out. Such is the nature of the game but I give all the praise to my current coach, Callisto Pasuwa and Norman Mapeza who was my coach at Monomotapa for making me who I am today," said Mushure. Mushure joined Dynamos at the beginning of the season from Motor Action. Prior to that, he had played for Monomotapa from 2008 up to the end of 2010 and lifted the league title in 2008 under the tutelage of Mapeza.
"Mapeza was more like a father to me during my stint at Monoz. He would check on all my movements on and off the pitch and I respected him a lot. I think he is the one who shaped my behaviour. "Pasuwa accommodated me well at Dynamos and this made my settling easier. He is an astute coach who gets on well with the players," said Mushure.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the Soccer Stars Calendar, Mushure is basking in the glory of his first League and Cup double. Last year, he missed out on the Mbada Diamonds Cup gold medal when Motor Action lost to DeMbare in the final. But this year, there was nothing to deny the lanky left footer a dance on the podium as Dynamos lifted their second consecutive Mbada Diamonds Cup.
He could probably be the only player to feature in two consecutive Mbada Diamonds Cup finals with two different clubs. "Our success boils down to unity. We were a united force at DeMbare this season. Everyone . . . the sponsors, executive, technical team and the players was pulling towards the same direction," said Mushure.
Pasuwa is full of praise for his prodigy and is still baffled why Mushure was not named Soccer Star of the Year finalist. "He is a well-behaved and talented boy who always sticks to instructions. He has never looked back ever since the day we handed him the first team jersey. It's unfortunate he was not selected as one of the Soccer Star of the Year finalists," says Pasuwa.
Mushure is a product of Muzarabani High School in Mashonaland Central. Inspired by former Warriors left-back, Harrington Shereni, Mushure moved to Monomotapa in 2008 and has seen his stock rise ever since. The on-going Asiagate has threatened to blight Mushure's otherwise impressive rise to stardom as he was implicated for taking part in a 2009 CECAFA tournament that is alleged to have been fixed.
He has been ordered by ZIFA to pay a US$3 000 fine. "I regret that call-up to the Warriors as it has tainted my name. Yes I went with the team but I never played a single game as I fell ill before the tournament. ZIFA as the mother body have ruled and I will abide because what is important for me is to move on with my career," said Mushure.
Mushure's contract with DeMbare expires at the end of 2013 and the left-back in keen on seeing out his contract. "My plan is to see through my contract before I move to join foreign clubs. My ultimate ambition is to play in the Bundesliga," said Mushure.