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    Sunday, 18 March 2018

    Of Masvingo, Midlands and the Premiership


    MASVINGO- It has been a long eight years since a team from Masvingo City played in the Premiership and the anxiety for top flight football was clear when Masvingo Utd was readmitted into the  less fashionable Division One League for the 2018 season.
    Those behind the project have given hope to thousands of soccer fans for a return of top flight football in the City.
    This season again, Masvingo will for the umpteenth time be represented by Triangle in the topflight which has not been very loud on the transfer market itself, with only Phineas Bhamusi from Caps United being a signing to talk about.
    This season's showdown will be in the Midlands where new boys Nichrut will have to prove their mettle against the province's old and experienced guard.
    Nichrut which was promoted from the Central Region Division One has enlisted the services of veteran John Nyikadzino as gaffer as it seeks to survive the likely chop while seasoned players like Farai Vimisai and Asani Nhongo are some of the players registered with MaShurugwi as they are affectionately known by their fans.
    With Chapungu, Shabanie and champions FC Platinum being its immediate neighbours, Nichrut's survival might lie in its own backyard.
    FC platinum has already disposed of players such as Brian Muzondiwa while Nqobizitha Masuku was snapped up by ambitious Zambian side, Buildcon.
    Though their championship winning coach, Norman Mapeza enderwent a back surgery, the potency of his team can never be underestimated.
    They have roped in the services of Rahman Kutsanzira, Farai Mupasiri, Farai Madhananga and Mandava will surely be worth visiting again this season.
    Although all eyes have been drawn towards Highlanders' and Dynamos' two 'ECD' like teams, it will not come as a surprise if Pure Platinum Play are to bag it for a second time despite their atrocious CAF Champions League campaign.
    Shabanie has been quiet as usual.
    Money has not been a regular visitor at Maglas and that might just be their weakness this season.
    Though money does not always buy success, the topflight is not for financial lightweights.
    Chapungu has always been around.
    They offer no title challenge, might surprise a giant here and there but eventually rarely king makers.
    They were thrashed by FC Platinum last season as the MIMOSA backed side bagged its first title since its promotion.
    The interesting part however, is that 12 games are set to be played between these four sides and as things stand, all 12 matches might be played at Mandava stadium after Maglas and Ascot stadium were condemned by ZIFA leaving only seven stadiums in the whole country.
    Nichrut's Peak Mine Stadium was decommissioned by ZIMASCO, the parent owner.
    One wonders though why ZIFA does not conduct its tour of stadia just after a season and recommend renovations and developments then instead of doing so towards the start of another season then demand unimaginable developments on a stadium with disregard to the time left for the season to start.
    This has disenfranchised many a supporter across the country and will definitely affect the teams and League revenue wise.
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