Gem of a de­fender

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Ray Bande Se­nior Re­porter

FIT­TING in the big shoes of de­parted Themba Ndlovu at Mutare City Rovers could have been a mam­moth task even for an ex­pe­ri­enced pair of legs but 20-year-old Lin­coln Man­gaira is prov­ing to be the next big thing to emerge from the dusty streets of Dangamvura. Gifted with fine ball con­trol, agility and steadi­ness, Man­gaira is fit­ting well in the heart of Gusha Bhora de­fence where he has be­come an apt re­place­ment for Ndlovu who joined Cha­pungu re­cently.

The for­mer Dangamvura High School stu­dent has part­nered Gift Jimu in Mutare City Rovers cen­tral de­fence and in the two matches that he has played the en­tire 90 min­utes, Gusha Bhora have only con­ceded a sin­gle goal.

He was a marvel to watch as Mutare City Rovers dis­man­tled trou­ble­some Mukanya Bul­let 3-1 be­fore the mu­nic­i­pal­ity owned out­fit set­tled for goal­less draw in a derby against Buf­faloes at Ven­gere Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Given the im­pres­sion he has made in those two matches, chances are high that the young player could also be in the start­ing line up when his team faces Prime Rangers on Satur­day (to­mor­row) at Sakubva sta­dium.

Even Mutare City Rovers team manger Lyn­don Kanyemba, be­lieves the young de­fender has a bright fu­ture ahead only if he guards against get­ting big-headed. Kanyemba praised the young­ster for his ded­i­ca­tion and dis­ci­pline.

“That young man can go very far in his ca­reer if he re­mains dis­ci­plined as he is right now. He is tal­ented and only needs to avoid get­ting big­headed like some play­ers al­ways do when­ever they get rave re­views, es­pe­cially in the me­dia.

“The good thing about Lin­coln Man­gaira is that he is so dis­ci­plined and ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing his game. He does not take al­co­hol and drugs like most of the young­sters that we deal with in our teams hence that is a plus for his ca­reer,” said Kanyemba.

The young Man­gaira started his ca­reer at Ajax Ju­nior club in Dangamvura where he played un­der the tute­lage of coach Malvern Mlambo at a time he was also at­tain­ing pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion at Sheni Pri­mary School.

He later en­rolled at Dangamvura High School. The young­ster be­lieves Mutare City Rovers have what it takes to win the 2017 East­ern Re­gion Divi­sion One ti­tle.

“I am happy at City Rovers and I think we are ca­pa­ble of win­ning the 2017 East­ern Re­gion Divi­sion One ti­tle. We have a good team that has de­ter­mined play­ers and coaches,” he said.

For him to take his tal­ent seriously, Man­gaira owes it to vet­eran gaffer Saul Chaminuka.

“There was a time soon after com­plet­ing high school when I joined Buf­faloes. It was un­for­tu­nate that I went there when the player reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod had elapsed so I could not be reg­is­tered un­til the end of the sea­son. At that time, Saul Chaminuka was coach­ing Buf­faloes and he is the one who wanted me to join the team.

“He made me be­lieve I have what it takes to es­tab­lish my­self as a de­pend­able de­fender. Un­for­tu­nately he left the club at the end of that sea­son and that is when I shifted base to City Rovers,” said Man­gaira.

Lin­coln Man­gaira

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