Ray Bande and Fungayi Munyoro
SELF-ANNOINTED doctor of football Luke Masomere believes that the 2019 Castle Lager Premiership fixture released this week is the best Manica Diamonds could get and he could have easily made the same if he was given the chance to compile this year’s match timetable.
The Manica Diamonds gaffer was presented with the toughest possible way to start their 2019 campaign in which his boys will travel all the way to the capital to face a seemingly rejuvenated CAPS United during the season opening round of league matches.
The 2019 season starts this month end.
According to the fixture released by PSL on Tuesday, the Gem Boys, as Manica Diamonds are fondly referred to, will get the ball rolling with a tough away assignment against former champions Caps United before they host Harare City.
After a job well done in the Zifa Eastern Region Division One League, coupled with a well financed project that Manica Diamonds are, expectations are naturally high that Masomere will make the club a source of pride for the province.
Manica Diamonds finished on top of the tables without tasting any defeat and there are grand expectations in Mutare that he could inspire the province’s only representatives to a memorable debut Premiership season.
“Playing a seasoned team is not going to be easy at all. We are just joining the league. We still have a lot to work on as far as our combinations are concerned. We hope by the time the season starts we will be ready.
“However, I have no doubt that this is the best fixture we could ever get as a club. It is always good to play with the best in the league early in the season so that you know your strengths and weaknesses early. It gives us a true picture of our mental, physical and tactical fortitude,” he said.
The well travelled gaffer, who has coached Premiership clubs that include How Mine, Buffaloes, CAPS United and Shabanie Mine among others, said preparations for Manica Diamonds have been going on well.
“I am happy with the preparations that we have had as a team even though we still have areas that we feel need to be strengthened. Yes, there have been a few injuries but I hope the injured players will be fine by the time the league season starts.
“We should come up with a competitive outfit by the time the season starts. We are currently working on all departments and all aspects of the game including defence, transition to attack and attacking formulas,” he said.
Manica Diamonds will go ahead with their pre-season preparations this weekend when they face Eastern Region Division One side Bikita Minerals away at Lithium Stadium in Bikita.
The match against Bikita Minerals comes after the Mutare side shelved plans to play against Triangle given that they will square off against Triangle in their third assignment of the season.
Manica Diamonds are likely to play against Bulawayo giants Highlanders next weekend as they take their preseason preparations a gear up.