Mhondoro-Ngezi-based side Ngezi Platinum Stars (NPS) are set for a massive squad overhaul following the disappointment of failing to win the Premier Soccer League title.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Ngezi finished the season on third position, and the club executive has responded by giving coach Tonderai Ndiraya a blank cheque to invade the transfer market and build a squad capable of winning the title next
They reportedly extended a similar war chest to Ndiraya during the mid-season window, which he spurned, keeping faith in his squad.
But the squad depth came under the spotlight in the last three matches of the season after losing Tichaona Mabvura to a family bereavement and Terrence Dzukamanja got injured.
They failed to win any of the matches and, ultimately lost the championship to eventual winners FC Platinum.
Club president, Stanley Segula announced the plans to overhaul at the club’s end of year awards dinner in Ngezi on Tuesday night.
“Indeed, the club will go under significant renewal as we embark on an ambitious squad strengthening exercise. The board, through the recommendation by the executive, has approved that the coach invades the market to re-sort the team, to address and identify the weaknesses in the team,” he said.
“Inevitably, some team members, who have contributed immensely to building this brand will depart and I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to those members.”
A lot of fringe players such as Kevin Bulaji, Washington Pakamisa, Davison Tavari and James Nguluve may be on the way out.
Already, the versatile Liberty Chakoroma and the club’s Player of the Year, Qadr Amini, are understood to be on their way to rivals FC Platinum, while captain Partson Jaure is coveting another move to South Africa
“The board has approved this investment and I, as the chairman of the club, declare in confidence that the NPS brand has crossed the Rubicon. The 2018 season is going to be our season,” Segula said.
“This past season, we got excited and we thought our target of finishing fourth was no longer enough and we wanted the big one but it was not to be.”
He revealed the club’s intentions to construct a gym as well the building of grandstands at the Boabab in 2018.
While Ndiraya is cautious about bringing in too many new players, he welcomed the idea of strengthening the squad.
“I think we need to strengthen in all the departments, but of course we are not going to make wholesale changes. We also have to bear in mind that these players took us to where we are today. But for us to compete with the best, we have to keep freshening the team and we have to buy some quality players to add more value to the team,” he told NewsDay Sport.
“In the 2018 season, we want the league, we want to win Chibuku Cup. We have done it before and we want to do it again. We came close in the league, so next year, we want to win, but we understand it won’t happen quite easily. There is a lot of work to be done.”
Amini won the Player of the Year award and a $600 cheque, while Mabvura scooped two awards, the Players’ Player of the Year as well as the Most Improved Player.
Other winners on the glittering night included Dzvukamanja (Top Goalscorer), Clive Agusto (Rookie Player of The Year), Godknows Murwira (Most Disciplined Player), Marlvin Kwinjo (Most Improved Young Player), Davison Tavari (Most Loyal Player) and Simbarashe Domingo (Under-19 Player of the Year).