Zimbabwe-born teen ace Madanha included in Australia Under-20s squad

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE born winger Panashe Madanha appears set to pursue his international football career with Australia after being included in their national Under-20 squad for next month’s 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Asian Cup.

The 18-year-old winger, who plays for Adelaide United in the Australian top-flight’s A-League was on Wednesday included in Australia’s 23-man that will take part in the competition to be held in Uzbekistan from March 1-18.

Madanha recently became the first Zimbabwe-born player to feature in Australia’s A-League after recently playing for Adelaide United.

The gifted forward, who can also play at right back rose through the ranks at the club and made his senior debut in an Australia Cup Round of 32 match against Newcastle Jets on 30 July 2022.

Madanha moved to Adelaide when he was four after his parents secured favourable job opportunities.

His father was a big influence on Madanha with his passion for football, prior to him truly finding his love for playing the game when he was seven.

It was a seemingly natural progression through the SA NTC, ‘Skillaroos’, and United Youth pathways that culminated in his first league appearance last month.

“It was really cool and an absolute honour to come through the system here in Adelaide and make my debut in front of lots of friends and family,” Madanha said of the experience after making his league debut for the club.

“You go to the games as a kid and dream of one day playing at the top level for your hometown team. For that to come true just makes me want to keep working and training hard and learning off the other boys in a really supportive team.”

He also spoke of the support he is always receiving from members of his family in Zimbabwe.

“The crew are all very supportive of me back home in Zimbabwe and they congratulated me and sent me some nice messages following my debut. My grandma, my cousins, and aunties and uncles, they all called me and it’s an awesome feeling.”

Madanha joins the growing list of budding Zimbabwean footballers in the diaspora who have represented other countries at junior level.

Several England-based Zimbabwean players Wolves teen ace Leon Chiwome, Liverpool starlet Isaac Mabaya, Luton Town’s Admiral Muskwe just to mention a few have represented the Young Lions while Tivonge Rushesha has featured for Wales.