Cash boost for Saints ahead of DeMbare tie

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Relegation-threatened Zimbabwe Saints received a timely morale booster ahead of their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) match against Dynamos at Rufaro on Sunday after the National Under-20 football team manager Eddie Chivero pledged a cool US$6 700 to the team should they shock their more fancied opposition.

Chivero, a former Njube Sundowns director, met with the Zimbabwe Saints executive last Friday, where he made the pledge, promising to pay the players $200 each and the members of the technical team $300 each if they manage to subdue a rejuvenated Dynamos side.

The Young Warriors manager said his gesture was meant to promote football in the Southern Region of the country.

He said his wish was to see more teams from the region playing in the PSL.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of teams from the region in recent times, with Highlanders, Chicken Inn, Zimbabwe Saints, Shabanie Mine and FC Platinum all playing in the top-flight league.

“I will pay the players a winning bonus of $200 each and $300 for each member of the technical team if they win on their next assignment.

“It is just a morale booster for the players and the team. What I want for them is to start collecting maximum points and to survive relegation. I would do it for any team in the Southern Region. It would not be a surprise if you see me doing it for Shabanie.

“I am not a supporter of any of the teams. I am just doing it for the region. We need more teams in the Premier League in the region. I met with members of the Zimbabwe Saints executive last Friday and made that promise and I will make considerations if they play a draw,” Chivero said.
Chivero said he would source the funds from well-wishers and appealed to would-be funders to assist the financially-troubled Chikwata as they try to steer themselves away from the relegation zone.
Zimbabwe Saints secretary-general Caleb Sengu yesterday confirmed his club met Chivero last Friday.

“I can confirm that we met with Chivero last Friday and that is what he said. He said he already has the money in his account from the so-called sponsor whom he has not disclosed. We agreed that we will meet again early this week with the players where he will make the promise himself,” Sengu said.

The Friday meeting with Chivero was attended by Sengu, club organising secretary Jabulani Chinyangarara and life members, former chairman Elliot Manduna, Tendai Nyandoro and assistant coaches Admore Sibanda and Jonathan Chikaponya.

Chivero was influential when Zimbabwe Saints acquired Eagles’ franchise at the beginning of the season.

However, Chikwata’s celebrated return to premier football has been a near disaster so far.
Zimbabwe Saints are currently occupying 15th position on the 16-team table and are in serious danger of facing the chop at the end of the season.

The club has parted ways with coach Willard “Mashinkila” Khumalo although the club maintains that he is on leave. Assistant coach Agent Sawu has also been fired leaving former Warriors player Ephraim Chawanda in the hot seat.

Players have also left en-masse. Some of the big names that have left include Leo Kurauzvione, Philip Sithole, Tafadzwa Maingire, Beaven Chikaka and Simbarashe Gate.