Gem of a defender
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.