BY HENRY MHARA
NORTHERN Region Division One side Simba Bhora FC have set themselves an ambitious target of playing in the Caf Champions League in the coming few years.
The ambitious side was promoted into the second-tier football from Division Two last season. Their desire of an immediate promotion to the topflight this year was halted after COVID-19 suspended local football activities.
But that has not dampened their zeal to play Premier Soccer League football and ultimately play continental football.
“Our dream is to one day play in the Caf Champions League,” Simba Bhora vice-chairperson Charles Nyatsime said.
“To the big clubs we say, we are coming for you. We are so ambitious and determined. We have got the zeal to propel and go to the next level. There is nothing that is going to stop us.
Some might see this as a far-fetched dream, but that is our goal. We want to get promoted into the Premier Soccer League as soon as possible. We have seen other teams from our region playing in Africa after their promotion and we have the same ambition,” he said.
Simba Bhora has been busy preparing for the new season despite the uncertainty surrounding the resumption of local football.
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At the weekend, they announced a kit sponsorship deal with Looks at a hotel in Harare becoming the first team from a lower division to get such sponsorship.
The United Kingdom-based sports equipment and apparel manufacturer Looks has so far been dealing with the country’s big teams after they last month announced a partnership with Dynamos, Highlanders and Caps United.
But Simba Bhora managed to convince the company to sign a three-year contract worth US150 000.
“For a team that is coming from rural Shamva to strike a deal is something that needs to be applauded,” Nyatsime said. “We are proud of ourselves. We want to promise stiff competition to our competitors, I mean in the league where we are aiming for. This is what we said when we started in Division One that we are going straight into Division One and here we are. Mark our words, we are going into the Premier Soccer League and we are coming to win it.”
The sponsorship deal will see Looks provide Simba Bhora with playing and training kits, tracksuits, travelling gear as well as replica jerseys for the fans.
Looks chief executive officer Peter Chiveso said: “This club is very ambitious and has been set up to achieve great exploits in the coming season.”
“We are proud to partner with such a forward-thinking organisation whose aim is to punch above its weight. I must commend the Simba Bhora leadership for their investment which is putting Shamva on the football map of Zimbabwe,” he said.
Some of the teams that got promoted from Northern Region Division Two and went on to represent the country in African club competitions include Monomotapa, Gunners, Harare City and Ngezi Platinum Stars.
l Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara