BY HENRY MHARA
NGEZI Platinum Stars are not only looking at conquering the domestic scene in the upcoming season, but the ambitious side have vowed to rise and become one of the dominant forces on the continent.
The Mhondoro Ngezi-based side is one of the well-resourced clubs in the local league, but their huge investments have failed to match their success since promotion into the top flight four years ago.
They won the Chibuku Super Cup in their debut season and with it a ticket to represent the country in the Caf Confederations Cup the following year.
But for such a hugely ambitious club, winning the Cup and failing to go beyond the first round of the Confed Cup was seen as failure, and coach Tonderai Ndiraya was sacrificed as a result.
To the club management, success is winning the league title, and representing the country in the more prestigious Caf Champions League.
Two other coaches have come and gone since Ndiraya was axed in 2018, while club chairman Jeremiah Gasitene was also fired as the league title continued to become stubbornly elusive.
They have continued to invest heavily in their project in search of the title, and yesterday, they unveiled a total of 12 players to bolster their squad which they think can finally hand them the title.
Leading the cast of the new arrivals is the capricious but hugely talented Denver Mukamba, Devon Chafa and Soccer Star of the Year finalist Wellington Taderera.
“Our new players are here to bolster our club’s ambition which is to be a dominant force in the domestic game and on the continent,” the club’s vice-president Lysias Chiwozva said in a statement read on his behalf by club chairman Silence Gavi during the player’s unveiling in Mhondoro yesterday.
“The Ngezi Platinum Stars brand aims to continue on a positive trajectory and become a dominant force in the domestic game and on the continent. In that same vein as Ngezi Platinum we are not here to make up the numbers but to provide stiff and exciting competition for our rivals in the race for top honours in the league.”
Other players that were unveiled by Ngezi are goalkeepers Marion Chang and Issah Alli, Kudzai Chigwida, Anelka Chivandire, Junior Zindoga, Craig Mutindife, Nyasha Chintuli and the exciting Nigel Makumbe.
Young Munashe Katondo was promoted to the senior team from the club’s juniors.
“We are certain that we have made the right moves in the market and gotten a good mix of experienced and young players who will fly our flag high. We are confident that our technical team has all it takes to lead our skilled players to unleash their full potential. As a club we are excited about the talent that we are bringing on board to augment our loyal sons.
Careful consideration has gone into scouting and attracting the talent.”
Takesure Chiragwi was also unveiled as the club’s second assistant coach to help gaffer Rodwell Dlakama. The other assistant coach is Alexio Sigion.
Dlakama was appointed caretaker coach midway through the season last year to replace Erol Akbay when it was clear that the team would not win the league.
He managed to guide it to finish fourth on the log table and was rewarded with a three-year contract.