. . . raids Mutare City Rovers

The Manica Post - - Sport - Ray Bande Se­nior Sports Re­porter

MUTARE City Rovers be­gan their prepa­ra­tions this week with­out five of their key play­ers who opted to play for Man­ica Di­a­monds FC in Divi­sion One in­stead of Premier­ship foot­ball with the fi­nan­cially ham­strung mu­nic­i­pal­ity owned out­fit.

Top man, Steven “Dealer” Sibanda, mid­fielder, Hi­bron “Adala” Makukutu, Clemence “Skude” Mkudu, Red­er­ick “Jecha” Mu­fudza and goal­keeper, God­frey Chisango all packed their be­long­ings head­ing for Man­ica Di­a­monds.

Such is the power of money that Man­ica Di­a­monds FC man­aged to get over 200 play­ers dur­ing their trails, while Mutare City Rovers FC only at­tracted a pal­try 30 when they re­sumed their off-sea­son prepa­ra­tions this week.

In­ves­ti­ga­tions by Post Sport re­vealed that Mutare City Rovers promised to of­fer em­ploy­ment to seven play­ers only, a de­vel­op­ment that irked other play­ers who had pinned their hopes for bet­ter liv­ing con­di­tions on se­cur­ing em­ploy­ment.

Mutare City Rovers spokesper­son, Clay­ton Masekesa, said their prepa­ra­tions were go­ing ahead smoothly ir­re­spec­tive of the play­ers that left.

“Our prepa­ra­tions are go­ing ahead smoothly and we are happy with the num­ber of play­ers that we got. This is mat­ter of choice. It is not a mass ex­o­dus as such as the con­tracts we had with the play­ers had ex­pired. Their con­tracts ex­pired on De­cem­ber 31, 2017.

“Play­ers have their choices and de­ci­sions. For those who have left we think they have made a de­ci­sion that is good for them. We want to thank them for get­ting us pro­moted back into the Premier­ship. We want to wish them good luck in their fu­ture foot­ball en­deav­ours,” said Masekesa.

Mutare City Rovers team man­ager, Lyndon Kanyemba, played down the is­sue of small num­bers turn­ing out for their off-sea­son prepa­ra­tions, say­ing they are not con­duct­ing tri­als, but nor­mal train­ing ses­sions.

“Re­mem­ber we are not a newly formed team. We are not con­duct­ing trails as such. We al­ready have a team and what we are hav­ing is just nor­mal pre­sea­son prepa­ra­tions,” said Kanyemba.

Be that as it may, dif­fi­cult times seem to be await­ing Mutare City Rovers given their fail­ure to com­pete favourably on the trans­fer mar­ket and re­liance on raw tal­ent and in­ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers.

With a bud­ding coach who does not have a trace­able suc­cess record in his ca­reer at Premier­ship foot­ball level, neu­trals can be for­given for tak­ing Mutare City Rovers’ off sea­son prepa­ra­tions as one big joke.

Ap­par­ently, this is the sec­ond time that Mutare City Rovers have been pro­moted into the do­mes­tic Premier­ship but it now seems clear that they have learnt very lit­tle, if any­thing, from their pre­vi­ous flir­ta­tion with top flight league foot­ball.

Steven ‘Dealer’ Sibanda

Hi­bron ‘Adala’ Makukutu

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