BY HENRY MHARA IN TRIANGLE
TRIANGLE coach Jairosi Tapera is reluctant to discuss his team’s chances of clinching the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League championship.
The Sugar Boys have tip-toed, almost unnoticed, into the title matrix, having been dismissed as no hopers at the start of the season.
But on Sunday, they dismissed Caps United to move within three points of Dynamos and Chicken Inn at the top.
Goals from Russel Madamombe and Dzingai Chirambamurivo either side of halftime gave the Lowveld side a hard-fought 2-1 win.
They are beginning to look like title contenders, but Tapera is still modest about their chances.
“There are teams that have been together for the past 16 months, probably with the same coach and the same players and we are only 12 weeks together and then you want us to dream about the championship, no it can’t be. That’s not how football works,” said Tapera, insisting that the club’s target this season was to avoid relegation.
“The way we started the season, no one, even you (journalists), gave us a chance. We started with nothing and we are getting points now. We are just thinking of how many can we get at the end of the day. I’m happy with the progress, but it’s still a long way.”
Tapera joined the club a few weeks into the season after the departure of Taurayi Mangwiro, who joined Harare City.
“We are continuously working with these young boys to improve them and improve myself as well, and that is exactly what we want. There was a time that I thought they would falter, but they didn’t. They continue to play football well, wanting to learn and we are privileged to be coaching them. Credit to the boys, they are a very good bunch. They want to learn and we have senior players who are always encouraging these boys so it’s just about teamwork,” Tapera said
They are unbeaten at their Gibbo Stadium in six matches, winning four times and drawing twice.
The victories include wins against Dynamos, Caps United and Ngezi Platinum Stars, while Highlanders escaped with a point.
“I see you (journalists) are now following us after a long time, so it means there is something good happening here. I’m happy that you are beginning to recognise the work we do here,” Tapera acknowledged.
Their form on the road is equally brilliant, with three wins, a draw with their two defeats coming against Herentals and Manica Diamonds.
Sunday’s victory over Caps United saw them leapfrogging Manica Diamonds as the title race begin to hot up.
- Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara