BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FORMER Dynamos forward Emmanuel Mandiranga has joined new Premiership boys TelOne, as they bid to assemble a strong side ahead of their maiden season in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
Mandiranga becomes the third highly-rated player to join the Wifi Boys following the arrival of veteran striker Jacob Muzokomba and midfield enforcer James Jam.
Having failed to penetrate the South African Premier League, the speedy winger finally settled for the Gweru-based Wifi Boys, where he could be guaranteed a first team jersey.
Mandiranga was unveiled yesterday in Gweru together with seven other players that include James Jam, Jacob Muzokomba, David Mangezi, Fradreck Muza, Nqolisi Moyo, Marvelous Chigumira and Rapheal Pitisi.
Club president Llyod Mtethwa said their target was to reinforce and stabilise their youthful squad.
“This is a journey of discovery. We are about to begin our life in the league, where we will play against some teams that are very old in terms of their existence,” he said.
“These players are expected to be a key part of our new task. We want to be a competitive team and not become punch bags in our maiden season.
“We will not be relegated and, therefore, we as the administration shall support the team and the technical department to see that we end the season on a respectable position.”
Head coach Joel Lupahla expressed satisfaction with the squad he has assembled, even though he will be replaced because he does not have
qualifications to coach in the PSL.
“We are almost there and I am very happy with the team that we have assembled so far,” he said.
“I have confidence in the players we have right now and the hope is that we meet our objective of maintaining our hard earned premier league status for as long as we can.”
Mtethwa emphasised that the incoming coach, who will head the technical department, will have to work with the coaches that they have in place.
“These guys helped us qualify. Joel surprised us with what he achieved in his maiden season with the club. The ideal scenario would have been for
us to continue with the technical set-up that we had in Division One, but we have had to make changes due to the club licensing regulations,” he said.
“However, we still expect the new coach, whom we will announce soon, to come in and work well with these guys and continue the project.”
TelOne are targeting survival in the top-flight, but they are not ruling out fighting for the title if they see an opportunity.