Rovers get de­cent turnout

Moral was very high at Ven­gere Sta­dium as fans, who had last sam­pled premier­ship ac­tion in 2015 when Dongo Sawmill was rel­e­gated, thronged the sta­dium in num­bers. Fans who spoke to the Post Sport ex­pressed de­light at get­ting the rare op­por­tu­nity to watch

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Fun­gayi Mun­y­oro Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

THERE was a de­cent turn out a Ven­gere Sta­dium, Rusape as more than 1 000 soc­cer fans paid their way to watch Mutare City Rovers’ in­au­gu­ral clash against Harare City at their new hunt­ing ground on Mon­day.

Mutare City was granted per­mis­sion to use Ven­gere Sta­dium as its home ground af­ter Sakubva Sta­dium was con­demned for fail­ing to meet the Pre­mier Soc­cer League (PSL) stan­dards, and the turn-out was so im­pres­sive. The match ended oneall and the Gusha Bhora, as Mutare City Rovers are af­fec­tion­ately known, picked their first point for the sea­son.

Rovers had gone for three games with­out reg­is­ter­ing a win. Gusha Bhora played their first home game at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium in Harare against newly pro­moted Shu­rugwi based side Nichrut and lost by a soli­tary goal.

Their sec­ond game was away to Cha­pungu where they were thrashed 2-3.

Chicken Inn beat Gusha Bhora 2-1 in the third game at Lu­veve in Bu­l­awayo.

Moral was very high at Ven­gere Sta­dium as fans, who had last sam­pled premier­ship ac­tion in 2015 when Dongo Sawmill was rel­e­gated, thronged the sta- dium in num­bers. Fans who spoke to the Post Sport ex­pressed de­light at get­ting the rare op­por­tu­nity to watch top flight foot­ball in their own back­yard.

“We are very happy over the de­ci­sion by Mutare City to use Ven­gere Sta­dium, in­stead of the NSS, as their home ground. We will sup­port Gusha Bhora, and there is need to come up with a lo­cal chap­ter that will co­a­lesce with the ex­ist­ing Mutare one to travel with the team on away games. We have done it be­fore and we can do the same this time around. The idea is to rally be­hind the home team, make it feel wel­come and hope­fully give it ev­ery­thing for its con­tin­ued stay in the top flight league.

“This is good for Rusape as we will have some­thing to en­ter­tain us on week­ends and also we need to keep sup­port­ing this team to avoid what hap­pened to Dongo Sawmill FC. We will also have an op­por­tu­nity to watch big teams at Ven­gere, which is a pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment for the town. The sup­port in Rusape is awe­some, and it’s a wise de­ci­sion by Gusha. When they re­vert back to Sak­abva, pos­si­bly in the sec­ond half, you will no­tice that some of these strug­gling premier­ship teams that hardly at­tract a size­able crowd at home matches will come knock­ing on our door,” said Daniel Mu­paradzi.

Former High­way FC and Na­tional Un­der-20 man­ager Lloyd Chi­nawa said the club breathed a sigh of relief when they were even­tu­ally granted per­mis­sion to use Ven­gere Sta­dium.

He said play­ing their home games at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium was both ex­pen­sive and de­mor­al­is­ing.

He added that most of their fans could not af­ford to travel to Harare for their home matches.

“Hav­ing our home games matches played in Harare was not a good idea as it was as good as play­ing away. Play­ing at Ven­gere is con­ve­nient and will also at­tract fans for Gusha Bhora.

“We are happy to have league matches in Rusape since we last had it when Dongo was still play­ing elite foot­ball. I think the more games that are played here the eas­ier it will be to main­tain the pitch,” said Farai Mutema.

Gusha Bhora head coach Joseph Takaringofa re­mains op­ti­mistic about his teams’ chances of pick­ing more points. He said his fo­cus was on the away game against Sha­banie Mine FC.

The game will be played in Zvisha­vane to­mor­row (Satur­day).

The Chinda Boys have won and lost once and drew two games.

“We are look­ing for­ward to col­lect­ing max­i­mum points against Sha­banie Mine to­mor­row. We will not leave it to chance, but do ev­ery­thing to en­sure we put and solid per­for­mance and col­lect the three points. We can­not con­tinue los­ing points, it will be dis­as­trous. We are per­fect­ing our com­bi­na­tion as we do not have many ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers. Gain­ing a point against Harare City was the turn­ing point for us,” he said.

Joseph Takaringofa

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