Crys­tal clear gems

Man­ica Di­a­monds flexes mus­cle on the mar­ket

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

Gazumped on Bhamusi, Chako­roma, Chin­tuli

MAN­ICA Di­a­monds FC be­came the first team to unveil the greater part of the con­tin­gent of play­ers they in­tend to use, a promis­ing blend of ex­pe­ri­enced and youth­ful top flight league ma­te­rial, in a clear mes­sage to com­peti­tors in the Cas­tle Lager Premier­ship that they will not be part of the 2019 sea­son only to make up num­bers.

The Gem Boys, as Man­ica Di­a­monds are fondly re­ferred to here in the east­ern bor­der city, pa­raded a num­ber of play­ers that in­clude veteran de­fender Part­son Jaure, 25-year old for­mer FC Plat­inum player Mar­shal Mude­hwe, ex-Dy­namos de­fender Peace Makaha, 24-year old ex-CAPS United mid­fielder Wis­dom Mu­tasa, 23-year old Pritchard Mpelele from Harare City and for­mer Black Rhi­nos goal­keeper Ash­ley Reyn­ers who was in ab­sen­tia.

Apart from the play­ers snatched from fel­low top flight league teams, Man­ica Di­a­monds also roped in new play­ers from am­bi­tious East­ern Re­gion Di­vi­sion One clubs Green Fuel and Buf­faloes that in­clude Tendai Chikono, Ti­moti Gil­bert and Last Jesi.

The Gem Boys also re­tained a num­ber of play­ers from last sea­son in­clud­ing goal­keeper Jo­rum Muchambo, Timire Mamvura, Ti­nashe Chigede, an­other goal­keeper God­frey Chisango and striker Stephen ‘Dealer’ Sibanda.

Makaha joined the Mutare out­fit af­ter be­ing shown the exit at Dy­namos to­gether with King­stone Nkhatha, Obey Mw­er­a­hari and Mar­shal Mac­haz­ane at the end of last sea­son for al­legedly lead­ing a player re­volt over bonuses.

Club sec­re­tary gen­eral Sugar Chagonda said a lot has been said on so­cial me­dia and the un­veil­ing cer­e­mony was meant to put to rest some of the base­less ru­mours.

“It is sad that a lot had been said on so­cial me­dia and one of the rea­sons for this un­veil­ing cer­e­mony was to put to rest some of the base­less ru­mours. For ex­am­ple, we have been linked to Den­ver Mukamba and I won­der where that was com­ing from,” said Chagonda.

Club chair­man Masimba Chi­howa said they failed to se­cure the ser­vices of War­riors fringe player Lib­erty Chako­roma who opted to stay at Ngezi Plat­inum while ef­forts to lure promis­ing Te­nax FC striker Nyasha Chin­tuli were fu­tile af­ter the Gem Boys were gazumped to his sig­na­ture by Tri­an­gle.

“Make no mis­take, we re­ally wanted to get a num­ber of play­ers that have links with Mutare but some of the play­ers ei­ther re­fused to join us or still had run­ning con­tracts with their em­ploy­ers.

“Lib­erty Chako­roma opted to stay at Ngezi Plat­inum while ne­go­ti­a­tions to bring Ticha Mab­vura are still un­der­way and we hope to be suc­cess­ful in get­ting him on board,” he said.

Chi­howa said they will work flat out to fill in the re­main­ing slots with play­ers that will add depth to the 19 un­veiled yes­ter­day.

He said the five slots meant for ju­nior play­ers will be filled strictly by play­ers from Man­i­ca­land.

“We are re­quired to sign five play­ers that are un­der the age of 20 and these will be taken strictly from Man­i­ca­land. The re­main­ing six will soon be an­nounced and they have to be play­ers that add depth to the squad that we al­ready have.

“As you can see we have tried by all means to build a youth­ful side. That was one of the guid­ing prin­ci­ples as we came up with the list of play­ers for our team,” said Chi­howa.

The for­mer Fifa panel match of­fi­cial ad­mit­ted that they could not get all play­ers on their wish list in­clud­ing some that trace their roots from Mutare such as Lib­erty Chako­roma who opted to re­main with his cur­rent em­ploy­ers.

Man­ica Di­a­monds gained pro­mo­tion via the Zifa East­ern Re­gion Di­vi­sion One where they com­pleted the sea­son with­out tast­ing de­feat.

COSTLY CARATS. . .Man­ica Di­a­monds un­veiled these new nine play­ers namely (from left) Tafadzwa Pini, Tendai Mukono, Peace Makaha, Wis­dom Mu­tasa, Mar­shal Mude­hwe, (be­hind) Club chair­man Masimba Chi­howa, Part­son Jaure, Pritchard Mpelele, Last Jesi and Gil­bert Ti­moti to­gether with other 10 re­tained from last sea­son.

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