Bill Antonio, the 18-year-old Dynamos wonderkid has a chance to shine for the Warriors as he looks to get his first senior cap in tomorrow’s dead rubber clash with Bafana Bafana
It might be a meaningless fixture for many, except for Antonio among others who wish for a memorable debut in warriors colours.
Who is this wonderkid Bill Antonio?
Antonio is an 18-year-old winger for the Glamour Boys, Dynamos. He is an upper sixth scholar at the Prince Edward School.
Antonio has been labelled as the hottest teenager in the Zimbabwean topflight at the moment thanks to his blazing performances for Dynamos in the Chibuku Super Cup where they remain unbeaten.
Bill Antonio, the journey to stardom
It all started while he was still attending Gillingham Primary where he started playing first-team football when he was in Grade Five. From there, his talents would be spotted by Dzivarasekwa Football Academy when he was in Grade Six. That is when Prince Edward also started showing interest in the player, and they eventually got their man for his high school career.
Antonio would go on to captain the U14 side at Prince Edward, before eventually making the school’s first team three years later, as a captain.
Football isn’t his only talent, with the teenager also known to be a gifted athlete. He is captain of the Prince Edward athletics team, and perhaps no surprise when one witnesses the amount of pace he plays with on the wing.
He won the Junior League with Dzivarasekwa Academy and was the top goal scorer.
Antonio was part of the Prince Edward team that won the Harare Schools Championship in 2017 and 2018. Those performances would then earn him national colours.
Bill Antonio featured for Zimbabwe’s Under 20 team, the Young Warriors at the COSAFA U20 Youth Championship.
Dynamos snaps Antonio
Following on form performances for the Zimbabwe youth sides, Dynamos would come in and snap up Antonio’s signature. Having only made his senior debut on May 29 this year, his stock has continued to rise.
Sunday Mail says, Antonio is now a popular figure in the streets of Harare, and at Prince Edwards, so much so that, his schoolmates offer to help him catch up his work.
Away from the field, Antonio has been using his salary as a professional footballer to better his life and that of his family.
He now pays for the school fees of his sisters, as well as their transport fare. He also buys the family groceries and has started plans for instalments for a family stand.
So how does it feel to be a professional teenage footballing prospect while still in high school?
“The feeling is just so good, nevertheless these are the things that I feel are going to be making up the rest of my days for the next few years. I want to be a footballer who is educated, so even if I am going to university, the same thing is going to happen, so yes, the feeling is good” said Antonio to Sunday Mail.
Antonio recently scored a crucial goal for Dynamos against ZPC Kariba in a 2-0 victory that helped “DeMbare” as they are affectionately known, reach the Chibuku Super Cup quarterfinals.
Can he now crown off an incredible year with his senior Zimbabwe national team debut against Bafana Bafana on Thursday?
Zimbabwe take on rivals South Africa in what promises to be an interesting World Cup qualifier at the FNB Stadium tomorrow night.
Both sides head into the eargerly-awaited clash with different missions.
The hosts are on the verge of securing a spot in the final round of World Cup qualifiers and their fate is in their hands.
Hugo Broos’ troops lead Group G with ten points from four matches, a point ahead of second-placed Ghana, who are also in action against Ethiopia at the Orlando Stadium tomorrow.
Bafana Bafana have done everything right in the Road to Qatar- they have beaten every team in the group, except for Zimbabwe.
The two sides met in the first round of fixtures in Harare and played out a dull goalless draw.
That stalemate was a key one for Bafana, as it laid a platform for what has been a successful campaign.
Zimbabwe on the other hand, have had a lacklustre campaign, in which they anchor the group with one point from four matches.
They scored only one goal so far.
Bill Antonio received the call-up after the withdrawal of Macauley Bonne who cited the unconducive environment this side of the world, which could worsen his heart problem.
Fans will be delighted to see Antonio in the warriors and continue with his form at Dynamos.