Chiragwi excited to meet Green Machine

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BY HENRY MHARA
NGEZI Platinum Stars interim coach Takesure Chiragwi is excited to be facing his former club Caps United.

The youthful coach, who is standing in for Rodwell Dhlakama who is on forced leave, spent several years playing for the Harare giants as a defender, winning silverware.
He was also part of the Green Machine’s technical department three years ago, where he was assisting Darlington Dodo before Ngezi came calling for his services.

Chiragwi has admitted that he is expecting an emotional return to Harare with his side for the Monday match.

The Premier Soccer League returns to full throttle this weekend following the Africa Cup of Nations finals-induced break.

“Going back as a coach (for Ngezi Platinum Stars), obviously the excitement is there, but I have to focus and try to win for the club, where my bread is buttered. I’m focusing more on Ngezi Platinum because I’m the coach here. It’s good to face your former club and I hope the atmosphere will be good for me,” Chiragwi said.

He said he was thankful to Caps United for according him the opportunity to play and coach the club, but reiterated that he was fully focused on the job at hand at Ngezi.

“I played for Caps United for several years and I’m eternally grateful for the opportunity they gave me. But like I said, I’m now at Ngezi Platinum Stars and I will do what is expected of me here.”

This is the second time he will be in charge of a Premiership team, having coached Shabanie Mine, helping the Shabanie Mine, to escape relegation in 2017.

He was, however, forced out of the club the following season after a string of poor results that saw the club getting relegated at the end of that campaign.

Chiragwi is not fazed by the huge task that lies ahead of him as he tries to impress his bosses and with the hope of securing the job on a permanent basis.

“Playing against Caps United is normal for me because we are in the same competition, in the same league, so there is nothing much of a difference. Caps are a very big club and we respect the institution, but football is the same and the clubs are at the same level, whether you are at Ngezi Platinum Stars or Bulawayo Chiefs. The difference is just in names and probably the establishment and probably how the clubs are run,” he said.

The Ngezi mentor has admitted feeling a little bit of pressure as he tries to fit at a club with huge expectations.

Ngezi Platinum, who lost in the final of the Chibuku Super Cup to FC Platinum earlier this season, want to atone for that disappointment by winning the biggest prize in local football, the Premiership title.

“In football, there is always pressure whether you want to win the championship or not. We play football to win because its a competition, so that’s where we get the pressure from,” Chiragwi said.

In pursuit for glory, Ngezi Platinum have made a huge investment in the project and on Monday unveiled five new players.

Former Caps United defender Carlos Mavhurume led the cast, which also includes striker Delic Murimba who was snapped up from Triangle.

Wingback Tapiwa Sibanda has also joined from Cranborne Bullets.
But their biggest catch was Warriors trialist Last Jesi, who has returned from Sudan, where he was playing for giants Al Hilal.

Young Takunda Benhura has been promoted from the club’s developmental side, as a reward for scoring six goals in four matches in the Zifa Northern Region Division One league.

Said Chiragwi: “We have assembled a very good squad and we are continuing with the same preparations for the games as before focusing on the next game against Caps United. I hope the new players are not here to add numbers but to add value to the team.”

Madamburo, as Ngezi Platinum Stars are known, lost a number of seasoned players at the end of the year, including Devon Chafa who went to Caps United and Keith Murera, who joined Dynamos.

Nigel Makumbe returned to FC Platinum, while Nyasha Chintuli, the team’s top goalscorer, has also left and is reported to be on his way to Manica Diamonds.

  • Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara