Fabisch for Zim?


At first glance you would mistake him for Leroy Sane, the Manchester City’s German international.

However, unlike his look alike at City who does damage for Pep Guardiola’s Premier League champions from the left wing, the late Reinhard Fabisch’s son Jonah is combative, creates and takes goals from central midfield for his Hamburg Under-19 team in the German league.

His surname rings loud in the memories of the Zimbabwean football community. His father was the mentor of the famed Dream Team that featured the likes of Peter Ndlovu, the late Benjamin Nkonjera and Francis Shonhayi among others.

Jonah has developed through the age group teams of the German Bundesliga team and is now a junior international for Germany. Early this year, Hamburg awarded the 17-year old a four- year contract to starve off increasing interest from other Bundesliga teams.

Jonah’s mother Chawada Kachidza is Zimbabwean, a former sprint hurdler from Mutoko who went to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as a member of the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF)’s Future Stars programme.

Since Jonah was 14, his mother – now living in Hamburg, Germany— has enlisted the services of United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean IAAF elite speed coach Stan Madiri for specialist movement and speed training.

Jonah travels to Madiri’s base during the off season for coaching and mentoring interventions necessary for high performance in sports.

“It might seem odd that a footballer has an athletics coach for their speed training. However, if speed is of any importance to their game then it’s prudent for any footballer to acquire the prerequisite speed skills to execute their game efficiently with a reduced risk of injury.

“My view is the body does not know whether one is a footballer, a sprinter or a rugby player. All the body does is respond to the demands placed upon it by the movement challenges encountered in the field of play. And if a footballer can respond to these challenges at speed, they are likely to have an advantage over their opposition.

“Speed is a skill and with structured learning any footballer can optimise their speed potential and raise their game that little bit more that can make the difference both in the development pathway and on the elite performance platforms,” said Madiri.

“So Jonah’s speed education is a journey to consistent elite performance through the modules of step quickness, explosive acceleration, rapid deceleration, instant change of direction and slalom speed. Will he play for Germany or Zimbabwe? Germany have him in their system, Zimbabwe can get him on its radar, at the very least. I know he is keeping his options open.”

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