HUW GRIFFITHS wants just one final thing from Alec Mudimu after he swapped Cefn Druids for Sheriff Tiraspol - a jacuzzi.

It’s a long standing joke between Griffiths and those players he’s coached that have gone on to bigger and better things, including Sheffield United attacker Mark Duffy, former Wales, Swansea and Norwich midfielder Owain Tudur Jones and ex-Luton and Rochdale defender Alan Goodall.

Griffiths, now manager of Caernarfon Town, said: “Alec came in to see us and it’s great to see him go on to play full-time football for a club that is a regular in the Champions League.

“All I would like from Alec now is a jacuzzi. I’ve said that to all those players that have moved up in the game and I’ve not had one yet!”

Mudimu’s move to the Moldovan champions completes a whirlwind couple of years for the athletic midfielder.

Signed from North West Counties outfit Stockport Town in September 2017, Mudimu has since gone on to play in the Europa League with Druids and represent his country Zimbabwe, who he won the COSAFA Cup with, at the Africa Cup of Nations, which helped attract interest from outside of the Cymru Premier.

Trials at Rochdale and Fleetwood came to nothing, but Mudimu kept his head down and earned his move to Moldova courtesy of impressive performances for Druids and Zimbabwe, where he’s deployed as a central defender.

“Alec has to take a lot of credit,” said Griffiths. “He’s listened and he’s learned after trials finished and I’ve got nothing but admiration for what he’s gone on to do.

“He’s gone away with Zimbabwe and produced the goods, despite at the time being the only semi-professional in the squad and I’ve got nothing but compliments for the boy, who has worked hard to achieve what he has done.”

Asked whether he was surprised that Mudimu hadn’t been snapped up sooner, or that the likes of Wrexham didn’t take an interest in the 24-year-old, Griffiths replied: “I am, yes.

“I’m surprised a few clubs didn’t look at Alec, but he’s probably not been as consistent this season as he was in the first year he played in the league.

“It has been an emotional roller-coaster for Alec though. He’s gone from playing in-front of 80,000 people for Zimbabwe one minute to playing in-front of 200 for Cefn Druids.

“That’s not an easy thing to deal with and Alec has managed to control his emotions and perform very well.”

Did Griffiths ever envisage Mudimu would leave Druids for full-time football and a shot at the Champions League?

“I don’t know whether I ever thought Alec would go and play in the Champions League,” said Griffiths. “But I did sign him after just 15 minutes, so that tells you everything you need to know about the quality I think Alec has.

“It wasn’t even 15 minutes of a game. I saw him in training, just passing the ball about and I knew I had to try and sign him.

“Sometimes you just know.”

It certainly sounds like Griffiths has picked up a few tips from Peter Davenport, who he worked under at Bangor City and Southport.

“He’s the best talent identifier I’ve seen,” said Griffiths of the former Manchester United and Nottingham Forest striker.

“He has a knack of spotting potential and if I ever got a top job I’d certainly call on Peter.

“I asked him to have a look at a player for me not too long ago. I asked whether he was good enough and his answer was ‘not really’, which was enough for me.”

Unfortunately for Mudimu his chance to hit the ground running with Sheriff has been dented by coronavirus with the Moldovan National League suspended until at least May 15.

Mudimu has also been denied the chance to add to his haul of international caps with the African Cup of Nations qualifiers suspended.

Zimbabwe’s games against Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Mali have all fallen foul to the pandemic with the next match scheduled to take place against Botswana on June 1.

Mudimu said: “The world faces a new challenge to tackle COVID-19, and so many events have been postponed until further notice.

“I urge everyone to take this serious and be very careful at this moment in time as we don’t yet know when all will be over.

“It’s a sad time and I wish everyone very good health and wellbeing and urge everyone to be very careful and to take great care of themselves and not put themselves in danger.”