For three consecutive years, Northern Region Division One side Harare City tried hard to break into the Premier Soccer League, but on all occasions, they finished agonisingly close.
This was not a deterrent to the team as they knew that with hard work and determination, they would soon be rewarded for their efforts.
On Sunday, the team finally realised their long-standing dream that began in 2007 with a nervy 1-0 win over Eiffel Flats at Dzivarasekwa Stadium, a result that saw them winning promotion into the top-flight league. Raymond Uchena’s priceless goal 10 minutes after the break was enough for the City Fathers to finish the season on 51 points, one ahead of DStv Rangers which beat Barça 3-1 at Old Hararians yesterday.
It was a huge relief for the team who started the season on a low — and at one point looked like they would be fighting relegation at the end of the season. However, a strong finish, aided by a shocking slump by the leading teams, saw the Bigboy Mawiwi-coached team taking control with three rounds of games, and they never looked back.
“The experience we gained in the past three years helped us a lot,” said club administrator James Chitsa on Monday.
“We were very consistent throughout the season as we maintained the same pool of players. It was a tight season especially the last four games, but we showed character, hard work and commitment, and here we are. We managed to pull through. Just like most of the teams in the league we had our own problems on and off the field, but we remained focused,” he added.
“There is very little that differentiates the Premier League and Division One in terms of play, so we are confident our current squad can match any team in the league. We have a very talented group of youngsters with an average age of 24 years and three players who have played in the Premier League before, so we have experience in our ranks which we think will help the team. Our coach has also coached in the league before, which is another plus for us,” said Chitsa.