KAIZER Chiefs newcomer Ovidy Karuru is focusing on one thing after receiving his work permit – forcing his way into Stuart Baxter’s starting line-up.
The Zimbabwean, a July signing, is yet to make his topflight debut for the 2012/13 Absa Premiership champions, who beat SuperSport United 2-0 in the League at FNB Stadium on Saturday.
While Karuru has considerable football experience, after plying his trade in France and Belgium between 2009 and 2013 before his move to Chiefs, breaking into Baxter’s team will take a lot of effort.
Under Baxter, Chiefs are yet to lose a match this season – giving the British coach no reason to fiddle around with his line-up.
Chiefs spokesperson Vina Maphosa tells KickOff.com that the stiff competition for places will benefit the team as it brings out the best in all the players.
Maphosa says Karuru – who featured for Chiefs in a pre-season match against Chippa United – has settled in well at the club.
The presence of other Zimbabwean players such as Willard Katsande, Kingston Nkhatha and Matthew Rusike has made it easier for the midfielder to blend in, says Maphosa.
“He is feeling at home now. He is used to South African conditions,” says Maphosa.
“He enjoys his football and you can see he is happy when he is on the football pitch. He has been training hard with the other guys.
“You can see that he is itching for his debut. Every player wants to play against other clubs as often as possible.
“We have a big team and there are many matches so everyone will get a chance to play. Karuru knows this and he has been professional in his approach,” adds Maphosa.
Karuru – who made his name in Zimbabwe’s topflight while playing for Masvingo United and later Gunners Football Club – is comfortable playing as an attacking midfielder or on either side of the field as a winger.
He has five caps for the Zimbabwe national senior team.
FIXTURES & RESULTS
Saturday: Mpumalanga Aces 0-0 University of Pretoria, Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 Supersport, Free State Stars 1-1 Maritzburg United, Polokwane 0-3 Orlando Pirates
Sunday: Platinum Stars v Bloefontein Celtic, Mamelodi Sundowns v Amazulu