Be Forward Wanderers hitman Esau Kanyenda has described the TNM Super League as annoyingly physical than when he left the country 16 years ago to play in South Africa and Russia.
The former Dwasco (now Dwangwa United) player, joined the Nomads in July and he has proven to be a hit after netting six Super League goals.
Asked what has changed from the time he left the country, Kanyenda singled out the physicality of the game.
“It has become irritatingly physical. It is like the players have stopped focusing on playing and enjoying football. It seems like the main focus is to commit fouls,” he said.
During the game against Eagles at Nankhaka ground, Kanyenda was a victim of ferocious tackles that continued to fly in throughout the league encounter.
In the two games, Kanyenda played last weekend, there were three red cards related to fouls. Against Silver Strikers on Saturday, Bankers striker Matthews Sibale and Wanderers midfielder Rafiq Namwera were sent off while Blue Eagles had their captain Mecium Mhone also sent off.
Kanyenda also lamented over the state of pitches in the, saying it is one of the contributing factors to poor football standards.
“The playing surfaces are, in most venues, dry and bumpy. It is difficult to play passing football under such conditions,” he said.
The former Russia top-league outfit Lokomotiv Moscow attacker signed a one-and-a-half year contract at Wanderers, but signaled he is ready to play beyond the current deal.
“As long as I am fit, I will carry on. I know some people were saying that I am old and finished, but those critics now have evidence that I am still good,” the soft-spoken striker said.
Meanwhile, Wanderers team manager Steve Madeira hoped that Kanyenda will stay longer at the Lali Lubani Road.
“People mocked us that we have signed a spent force. The fact is that Esau [Kanyenda] is a good striker and there was nothing to stop him from performing brilliantly at Wanderers. He is here next year and we will make sure that he remains here longer,” he said.
Kanyenda joined South Africa side Jomo Cosmos in 2001. In 2003, he signed for FC Rostov in Russia’s Premier League. In 2005, he left briefly for FC Lokomotiv Moscow after being the third top goal scorer in Russian top league.
He re-joined FC Rostov on loan until December 2007. After two years with FC Lokomotiv, he signed for FC Kamaz Naberezhnye Chelny. He was their top goalscorer in that season. Three years ago, he returned to South Africa where he played for Polokwane City.