Kenzo Zohore has made his debut – and new daddy Kenneth returned to Bluebirds match action at Torquay United.
Big striker Zohore is preparing for his first Premier League season and says: “This is the best summer of my life
“I’m so excited about everything.
“The last few days have been amazing – it’s been so good. I’m afraid about everything for him though. I want to know what he’s doing all the time, that’s why I’m always calling home.”
Zohore made his first pre-season appearance in front of almost 900 Cardiff fans at Plainmoor in Devon.
The big away following contributed to a match attendance of 2,114.
It was a frustrating night for City in the 1-1 draw, failing to win for the first time during their week-long tour to the South West.
Josh Murphy scored the Bluebirds’ goal before being replaced at half-time.
💬 Warnock: “It’s been a really good week – on and off the pitch”
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) July 20, 2018
Torquay were well organised, compact and fast, giving notice they are keen on a quick return to the Vanarama National after being relegated last May.
Danish hit-man Zohore became a father for the first time when Kenzo was born on Saturday and is now planning to celebrate by lighting up the Premier League.
Baby Kenzo will be at Cardiff City’s first home fixture, against Newcastle United next month, and Zohore says: “Hopefully he’ll play for our club in the future.”
Daddy Zohore is fired up for the Premier season, saying: “It’s a challenge and I’m ready for it – I’m not scared.
“It’s been my dream since I was a young boy to play in the Premier League.
The Gaffer told me he believes the Premier League will suit me better than the Championship. Even though I’m big and strong, I also like the ball to be on the ground.
“It’s good to have a manager who believes in you and I’m grateful to have him here.”
Zohore was given time off from City’s pre-season tour to be with his family and returned on Wednesday, a couple of hours before their 6-0 win at Tavistock.
Powerful 6ft 3ins forward, aged 24, believes togetherness in the Bluebirds camp will be a key factor, saying: “We had the best teamwork in the Championship and that’s why we went up.
We worked so hard for each other as a group.
“We’re all genuine friends off the pitch. We take that onto the pitch too. If I do something wrong and lose the ball, the next man has got my back and will win it back.”
Cardiff’s match at Torquay was easily the best of their pre-season trip to Devon and Cornwall.
The Gulls provided the most competitive opposition of the trip and looked good through the opening 45 minutes, battling for possession and looking to break fast.
City were comfortable in possession and knocked the ball around with composure against their Vanarama National League South League hosts.
The only goal during the first half was netted by Josh Murphy, who went past a defender and fired low into the far corner from 15 yards.
The strike came moments after Torquay had penalty appeals turned down after a Callum Paterson challenge. A Torquay player went down, but referee Adam Bromley signalled the Scottish international had taken the ball.
Cardiff went straight to the other end and scored through Murphy, who went close again soon after with a shot across goal which just went wide.
At 1-0 Cardiff had the edge, but Torquay produced a substitution which changed the game.
Ruairi Keating went on, raced through when a long ball was played over the top and knocked it past goalkeeper Etheridge. It was a horrible goal from a defensive point of view with Etheridge demanding to know why there was a lack of communication in front of him.
At 1-1 Cardiff started to look frustrated and Torquay were full of confidence.
The non-League team saw out the game with confidence, while Cardiff will be happy with the workout. They used 20 players with Matt Connolly the only substitute staying on the bench.
Torquay United (3-5-2): Alex Bass, Ben Wynter, Liam Davis, George Essuman, Asa Hall, Brett Williams, Samir Nabi, Jean-Yves Koue Niate, Ryan Dickson, Kyle Cameron, Jamie Reid. Subs: Jason Banton, Ruairi Koszela, Alfie Edwards, Shaun McDonald, Jon-Paul Pittman, James Roberts.
Cardiff City: Alex Smithies (Neil Etheridge 46), Lee Peltier (Jazz Richards 46), Sean Morrison (capt), Bruno Manga (Sol Bamba 46), Joe Bennett (Greg Cunningham 46), Junior Hoilett, Callum Paterson Nathaniel Mendez-Laing 68), Joe Ralls, Josh Murphy (Danny Ward 46, Gary Madine 62), Bobby Reid (Loic Damour 46), Kenneth Zohore (Kadeem Harris 62). Sub not used: Matt Connolly.
Referee: Adam Bromley.