Monomotapa coach Taurai Mangwiro has said his club is at the start of a new cycle as he integrates new signings into his squad ahead of the Castle Lager Premier League season which gets underway at the end of this month.
Mangwiro believes he has assembled a strong squad that will put an improved performance from the horror show of last season.
Monoz survived relegation on the last day of the season after beating Masvingo 2-0.
However, the team’s major undoing last season was their strike force whose conversion rate was so pathetic that the team drew 15 games, most of which they could have won.
But with the return of the tried and tested strikers in Kuda Musharu and Tawanda Nyamandwe who were on loan to Motor Action, Mangwiro believes this could be his year.
“We have managed to retain the bulk of the team from last season, save for two or three players who left for other teams. We lost Tapiwa Mafunga and Malvern Dumbura to Buffaloes and Dominic Mukandi joined Motor Action.
“I want to believe the team we have assembled will do much better than what we did last season. And remember last season we were just unfortunate not to score goals but were doing everything right.
“The number of matches we drew last season shows that we were unbeatable. I didn’t have a problem with the general play of the team but the strikers let us down.
“It is our hope that the coming in of Musharu and Nyamandwe will provide that missing link,” said Mangwiro.
A staunch believer of junior players, the former national Under-20 coach has also injected some young blood into his side which he said would add some youthful flair into the squad.
Monoz have snapped up the highly rated Young Warriors midfielder Willard Kalongola (19) from DC Academy, in addition to Wonder Kapinda (23), Brian Muzondiwa (19) Brighton Chiyambuka (22) and James Tigere, all from Division One teams.
“These are enterprising youngsters who I believe will give a good account in the league. We also have two germs, Timothy Tukunyani, a 17-year-old from Mt Pleasant High and Praise Tonhai from Marondera High who I have high hopes they do well this season,” he said.
Last year, Monoz had a team with an average age of 23, most of whom made the bulk of the Under-20 and the Under 23 national soccer side.
The newly assembled side’s strength will be put under the severest of tests when they clash with Dynamos in a friendly match at Rufaro Stadium on Saturday.