Football

Benjani Mwaruwari Jnr released by English side Portsmouth

THE teenage son of Zimbabwe Warriors legend Benjani Mwaruwari has been released by English side Portsmouth after a stint with the League One side’s academy.

Benjani Junior had been in his second spell with the Blues and most recently associated with the under-16s.

However, it is understood the Pompey academy elected not to offer the striker a scholarship, informing him three weeks ago.

Benjani Jnr has since been training at Yeovil in a bid to win a deal with the National League outfit.

Nonetheless, for the romantics among the Fratton faithful, it’s disappointing not to see another Benjani make a name for himself with the Blues.

His dad was signed by Harry Redknapp from French side Auxerre in January 2006 for a thenclub record fee of £4.1m.

Benjani senior went on to become a key presence in the Great Escape, ultimately netting in the Blues’ 2-1 triumph at Wigan which confirmed their Premier League survival in April 2006.

The Zimbabwe international was sold to Manchester City in February 2008, following two hattricks in the 2007-08 season.

However, the striker did return for an ill-fated second spell in the 2011-12 campaign when signed by Steve Cotterill on a free transfer.

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In total, he made 94 appearances and scored 20 times and can always anticipate an excellent reception upon visits to Fratton Park.

Benjani Snr also spent time coaching Pompey’s under-16s this season. The 42-year-old assisted Shaun North in coaching sessions on a twice-weekly basis to meet Uefa A licence requirements. Benjani is based in Ringwood, although he did move to South Africa for two years, with Benjani Jnr taken out of Pompey’s Academy.

Upon their return to England, the youngster rejoined the Blues’ youth setup, with this his third season back. – Portsmouth News 🔺

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