26 January 2013

Zimbabwe/South Africa: Arubi Gets a Better Deal At University of Pretoria

HARDLY had the ink dried on the initial contract did University of Pretoria offer a better deal to Zimbabwean goalkeeper Washington Arubi. Arubi joined the Super Diski in August last year and has since taken over as the first choice goalkeeper.

The former Dynamos and Lancashire Steel goalkeeper joined AmaTuks just as they won promotion into the Absa Premiership.

The agile goalkeeper, who has also played for Highlanders and Bantu Rovers, was initially offered a two-year deal.

But reports from South African yesterday indicated that Arubi has been offered a two-year extension alongside team-mates Mpho Matsa and Lebogang Ngubeni.

University of Pretoria coach Steve Barker last month said Arubi was one of the best goalkeepers in the South African league after the former Dynamos skipper had kept Kaizer Chiefs strikers at bay.

The league match ended 1-1 with Arubi winning the man-of-the-match of the accolade.

Yesterday, Kenny Mapeza, who helped Arubi to secure a deal to South Africa, was naturally pleased with the new offer.

"We are still to finalise the new two-year offer but that's what the club has offered. It's not coming as much of a surprise because Arubi has done very well since he joined the team," said Mapeza.

University of Pretoria initially delayed engaging Arubi after the player was fingered in the Asiagate scandal.

But, even before he was cleared, they took the gamble and signed him.

Mapeza believes there is still room for Arubi to scale greater heights.

"I think Arubi has proved to be much of a influential player to the whole team. Now if we look at the past, it has been difficult for goalkeepers from Africa to break into top European leagues.

"Some goalkeepers have been very talented but they just could not get the big break to get into Europe with the exception of a few," said Mapeza.

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