ZIMBABWEAN teen football sensation Tivonge Rushesha has expressed his delight after recently being handed the captaincy duties at Swansea’s Under23 side.
Rushesha, a Wales Under-19 international, was born in Zimbabwe but moved to Britain as a youngster and has come through Swansea’s academy to being on the fringes of the English Championship side’s first team.
Last week Rushesha captained the under-23s for a second consecutive game in a 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic in Dartford.
The 19-year-old, who usually plays at right back, has also recently been operating as a central defender as opposed to his regular role.
In an interview with Swansea’s official website Rushesha said he has been enjoying life playing in the centre of defence, as well as the opportunity to develop as a leader.
“I’ve enjoyed playing at centre back, I enjoy the middle of the pitch because I get a lot of the ball there and I think the way I play on the ball suits me,” he said.
“I’ve been enjoying just how much of the ball I’ve been seeing, and I’ve just been taking on the challenge as I go.
“I think I’ve always been a good communicator, I think I’ve always led the team even when I’m not wearing the captain’s armband, so it’s good to see that the coaches have noticed that and it’s been great to wear it for the last two games.”
Rushesha recently returned to competitive football after enduring eight difficult months on the side lines because of a cruciate ligament injury.
The gifted young Zimbabwean made his senior debut for Swansea in the EFL Cup last season and is highly regarded at the Liberty Stadium.
His hopes of a breakthrough season after being promoted to the first team however suffered a blow after suffering a serious injury.
Rushesha is so highly regarded at Swansea that he was early this year offered a new contract by the club despite his long-term injury after putting pen to paper on a one-year extension that will keep him with the club until at least the end of the 2022-23 campaign.
Although Rushesha has played youth football with Wales’ national age-group teams, he has previously declared his desire to be part of the Warriors in the future.
FIFA rules allow junior players to switch allegiance.