FROM the despised OTS Section of Sakubva, former Manica Diamonds midfield genius, Last Jesi, whose Cinderella story from a hopeless primary school dropout to becoming the second Zimbabwean to be signed by top Sudanese football club, Al Hilal, has now shifted focus to the CAF Champions League.
Jesi redefined avenues of success in life when he made the proverbial life changing move to Al Hilal Omdurman and today the Caf Champions League romance is giving him experience and exposure he badly needs in his blossoming career.
The CAF Champions League is Africa’s most lucrative competition for clubs that excel in their respective leagues in their home countries.
“I have so far played one match against Vipers SC of Uganda which we won one nil. The first one I did not play. We are now focusing on the Champions League since we have not yet started league matches,” said Jesi from his base.
Jesi has played in one Champions League assignment for Al Hilal against Vipers SC FC of Uganda and also featured in a friendly match against a local outfit in Sudan.
The 25-year-old Sakubva-born naturally gifted midfielder made the big move to the Sudanese champions on a reported US$80 000 transfer fee after just playing two games for Zimbabwean champions, FC Platinum where he was on a season-long loan from Manica Diamonds.
After completing the life changing move, Jesi followed in the footsteps of former Dynamos striker, Edward Sadomba, who is still regarded as a legend by the club’s supporters.
Sadomba had some of the best moments of his professional football career at Al Hilal in a four-season spell in which he won the CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup Golden Boot awards.
Jesi is on record saying he is motivated by the desire to emulate the success of his compatriot, Sadomba.
Such is the immense ball controlling and distribution talent in Jesi that even though FC Platinum’s lost by a solitary goal to Al Hilal in the CAF Champions’ League group stage encounter, Jesi put up a splendid individual performance which caught the eye of Al Hilal officials, who quickly moved to secure his services.
The Blue Wave, as Al Hilal are affectionately known, was formed in 1930 and have won the Sudanese championship a record 27 times in addition to seven Sudan Cup titles.
They are the most successful Sudanese club in continental club football, finishing as losing finalists in the CAF Champions League twice in 1987 and 1992, while they also made the semi-finals in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
Additionally, Al Hilal have reached the semi-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup on two occasions in 2010 and 2012.