CAPS UNITED new boy Goodwill Goriyati had been knocking on the big time door for years and was contemplating walking away from the game when Lloyd Chitembwe gave him a kiss of life. The 24-year-old defender, who has seamlessly slotted into the Green Machine starting XI after joining in mid-season, had a brief flirtation with the now defunct Gunners before unsuccessfully trying his luck at Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum Stars.
At Dynamos he was told he was not good enough while at Ngezi he got a one- year contract with their developmental side before Tonderayi Ndiraya decreed that only Under-19 players should feature for the feeder club.
“After being sent packing at Ngezi I wanted to give up on football but people close to me kept pestering me to give it another go. Lincoln Zvasiya offered to ferry me to the Dynamos training session everyday with his car but after what happened before my heart was never in it,” said Goriyati.
“Then Prosper Chigumba invited me to Caps United and I trained with them for a while but they didn’t show much interest at first, so I stopped reporting for training. However, two days before the closure of the midfield transfer window I received a call from Cuthbert Chitima and he said I should come and sign a contract … I was shocked and happy at the same time.”
Goriyati went on to make his Caps United debut against Dynamos last month and was the hero last weekend, scoring a last-minute equaliser as Makepekepe drew 1-all with FC Platinum at Mandava.
“That is a goal I will forever cherish. Playing for Caps United is a big honour and I am indebted to the club for showing confidence in me and hope to repay that faith by giving it my all each time I wear that green shirt,” said the defender.
Standing at 1,79 metrse and weighing 83 kilogrammes Goriyati is a far cry from the giant Goliath found in the Bible but that does not stop people from corrupting his surname.
“Most people choose to call me Goliath. It used to offend me but now I have grown used to it,” said the Caps United defender who is nicknamed Garwe, because of his no-nonsense approach.
The last born in a family of six, Garwe was christened after his late father Godwin Goriyati, a pastor and a carpenter by profession. The former Gunners FC defender revealed that he had to play hide and seek with his father as he was against the idea of him becoming a footballer.
“My father wanted me to be a pastor but being a footballer is all I ever wanted to be. This affected our relationship for a long time and he only began to give me support when I made my breakthrough at Gunners. Sadly, he is late now but I believe wherever he is my father is proud of me,” said Goriyati.
The defender made his Premiership debut at Maglas on August 5, 2012 and returns to the famous Zvishavane venue this afternoon as Caps face Shabanie Mine in a Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final.
“It’s not easy to play at Maglas, I remember when I made my debut their supporters made our lives very difficult and we ended up losing 2-0. It’s never easy at Maglas and this one will even be more difficult because it a cup game.
“However, I am part of a team that is full of experienced players, boys who love Caps United, boys who are ready to die for the team and as a member of such a unit I am confident that we will do well,” said Goriyati.
Chibuku Super Cup quarter-final fixtures
Bulawayo City v Yadah FC (Barbourfields)
Shabanie Mine v Caps United (Maglas)