By Sports Reporter
ENGLAND-BORN Zimbabwean rising star Andy Rinomhota is relishing the prospect of playing against boyhood club Manchester United when his English Championship side, Reading faces the Red Devils in an FA Cup third round match at Old Trafford this Saturday.
The 21-year-old midfielder has established himself as a regular in the Reading side, starting the club’s last 12 games since making his breakthrough from the development side early season.
Rinomhota, who supported the Red Devils as a boy, says playing at Old Trafford in front of a big crowd will be a whole different experience.
“The thought of going to Old Trafford, playing Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world, in front of 70-odd thousand people – that’ll be massive and a whole experience in itself,” Rinomhota told Reading’s official website.
“I was brought up supporting Manchester United so it’s always been there for me to want to play at Old Trafford, and hopefully now I’ll have the chance.”
The former AFC Portchester player has impressed in every game and has become a key figure in the heart of the midfield earning praises from the club’s fans.
Reading’s match against Manchester United his will be the third time the teams have been paired against each other in cup competition since 2013, but this could be the first occasion in which Rinomhota may play a part at Old Trafford.
Earlier in the season, Rinomhota almost had the opportunity to make his dream come true sooner with the Under-23s.
That day, though, the young midfielder was selected to travel with the first team to Preston North End – where he went on to make his Championship debut.
Five months later, and Rinomhota has firmly made that starting place his own with a number of eye-catching performances.
“I didn’t play in the Under-23s game their earlier in the season because I travelled to Preston with the First Team, where I made my league debut.
“It’s been a big change for me over a very short period of time. From not being around it at the start of the season to breaking into the first team, I’m really happy to be where I am at the minute.
Besides the experience of rubbing shoulders with some of the World’s best players, it will also be an opportunity for the Zimbabwe Warriors hopeful to showcase his talents on a big stage.
Born in Leeds, England to a Zimbabwean father and British mother, Rinomhota is reportedly keen to pursue an international career with Zimbabwe.
Rinomhota is one several England-based players who are being pursued by Zimbabwe as part of their initiative to tap into talent emerging from among the diaspora community.