ANDY Rinomhota is determined to get a spot on Reading FC's main team after impressing in their English Premier League debut in the English Premier League's 3-2 victory over Bristol City recently.
FROM DANIEL NHAKANSIO
The 21-year-old Zimbabwean-born U-turn was one of the highlights of a much needed victory for coach Paul Clement before drawing 2-2 with Ipswich.
Born in Leeds, England, the son of a Zimbabwean father and British mother, Rinomhota is eager to pursue an international career in Zimbabwe.
His team's performance against Bristol earned him an enthusiastic ovation from Reading fans as he opened the way for Royals team-mate John Swift 12 minutes before the end.
"I was happy as it was and getting three points was the main thing," Rinomhota told Reading's official website after the match.
"I was pleased with my performance and it was a shame I could not finish the game but the fatigue began.
"It was great to start my first championship. I kind of knew in training because my name was on the starting team. I was thrilled and knew I had to make an impact to keep my place. I hope I did that.
Rinomhota has made seven League and Cup matches for Royals in all competitions and has been brought to the main team by former Reading boss Jaap Stam.
His progress was initially hampered by a serious tendon injury, but he forced the way back to Clement's plans for the main team.
Now the future looks bright for the Leeds-born midfielder who joined the AFC Portchester Reading's Academy team in 2015.
"I was introduced to the first team for more than a season and I was involved with the former manager," said Rinomhota, who signed a new three-and-a-half year contract last December.
"Unfortunately I had an injury that put me back, but I'm back involved again and happy to have started my first league.
"Reading has always been a good club to bring in the young, with players like Liam Kelly and me. There's always a fight for places, so I do not know if I'm going to play every week, but I expect there will be a lot more appearances to come. "
He added: "I usually do not play in front of many fans, since my last game was for the Under-23s.
"They gave me a great reception when I left, so I can not thank you enough for that.
"The fans were loud and supported us during the game. The players are always fighting together and there is good team unity. "
Clement praised the youngster's performance against Bristol City saying: "I thought he played very well. He had to be patient. He is a fantastic professional and boy. Every day he is really committed to learning and giving his best. He is a credit to the club, the gym and his family. "
He continued: "I know that when he appeared in his other appearances he had no family there. They were short appearances, so he was surprised.
"But his mother and father were there on Saturday and he was very applauded when he left, which was totally deserved."
Rinomhota is one of several players in England being chased by Zimbabwe as part of his initiative to exploit emerging talents from the diaspora community.
He was included in the Warriors provisional team for the 2018 Cosafa Cup held in South Africa in June but was eventually omitted from the final team as he has not yet acquired a Zimbabwe passport.
Team boss Warriors Wellington Mpandare recently told The Sports Hub that Rinomhota had already expressed interest in representing Zimbabwe and they were still in the process of securing their passport.