MOSES Chunga is back in the Premier Soccer League.
After a year in the Eastern Region Division One, the former Warriors assistant coach has ensured that Chiredzi has a second Premiership team and a third from the region after Buffaloes and Triangle.
Triangle and Hippo Valley — Chunga’s new baby — are from the same Tongaat Hullet stable.
After several years of near misses, Hippo Valley finally found their dream after wrestling the sole ticket into the top flight league from the Eastern Region on Saturday, beating Tenax 1-0.
Their case of near misses dates back to 2010, when they surrendered the title to Masvingo United after having led for the better part of the season.
Heartbreaks continued for Hippo Valley as they came third to Buffaloes in the 2011 season.
And for the third time last season, sister team Triangle took the honours.
But this time around, there was no stopping the tide as Chiredzi erupted into wild celebrations with most of the fans already anticipating a fierce derby in the small sugar manufacturing town with neighbours Triangle.
Speaking after the much-awaited Premiership breakthrough, Hippo Valley chairman Tarisai Mudambanuki, who was given the nod to lead the club early this year, said that he was looking forward to successful years in the top flight.
“We set up our ambition to win the title and the first thing I had to do as the chairman was to bring Moses Chunga into the ranks of the club technical team as technical advisor.
“I had to recall Taku Shariwa as head coach since he had better knowledge of the team.
“We are happy to have won the title with five games to spare.
“We are going to sit down with our technical department which is going to guide us in beefing up the squad ahead of the upcoming season.
“But, obviously, we will be forced to open our cheque book at one point to blend some of our youngsters with players who have Premiership experience,” he added.
Chunga also revealed his own ambitions.
“I would want to see Hippo Valley becoming a household name in African football circles, not in Zimbabwe only. But to achieve that, we need professionally minded people.
“I think the chairman was instrumental to the success of the team. I want to bring big teams from Africa to the Lowveld. But again, to achieve this, people should not throw spanners into my works,” Chunga concluded.
Fans also spoke of their joy.
Elijah Chikate of Chiredzi said: “We have been used to travelling more than 30km to go and watch premiership football in Triangle and now it’s a thing of the past.”
Another fan, Parson Mashana, said that he was anticipating a fierce derby.
“We are anticipating exciting duels between the two town rivals if Triangle can survive relegation this year.” he said.