Premiership promotion beckons for another Manicaland team

13 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Premiership promotion beckons for another Manicaland team ZIFA Eastern Region Division Ones sides GreenFuel and Mutare City Rovers are vying for Premiership promotion

The ManicaPost

Moffat Mungazi
Sports Reporter

ANOTHER team from Manicaland is set to earn promotion into the Castle Lager Premiership if how the ZIFA Eastern Region Division One title race has panned out so far is anything to go by.

The province presently has two teams – Manica Diamonds and Tenax – competing in the elite league.

With action in the second-tier league now in the second round, Chisumbanje-based GreenFuel and Mutare City Rovers have emerged as the early pacesetters.

The duo is slugging it out at the summit and occupy the top two positions respectively.

While occupation of the log’s apex has been a see-saw affair between the duo, the other teams are tailing off into the distance as the race for promotion intensifies with each passing weekend.

GreenFuel, who are yet to lose a game, lead proceedings in the 16-team table with 35 points from 15 games.

Mutare City Rovers sit on second position, two points adrift with the same number of matches.

The duo’s closest chasing rivals are perennial campaigners, Masvingo United (28), who are third. They are five and 10 points off the pace of the municipality outfit and ethanol producer respectively.

Manicaland’s other two representatives are not faring so well, with former Premiership side, Buffaloes hovering in mid-table on seventh position with 21 points from 15 games.

Debutants, Manica Diamonds Juniors have been struggling to pull their weight, but have started to gradually climb up the ladder from the foot of the table.

 

They are third from bottom after collecting nine points from 15 games.

Buhera-based Nzuma Bar have since folded up and are no longer fulfilling their fixtures.

ZIFA Eastern Region vice-chairman, Wisdom Simba confirmed that Nzuma Bar have withdrawn from the league.

“They are no longer part of the league. The league’s standing rules and regulations dictate that any team that fails to fufill three consecutive matches is rendered withdrawn. Also, if it fails to participate in 50 percent of the fixtures, then all its earlier results are nullified.

 

“This was the case with Nzuma Bar. They cited that they did not have the squad of players to sustain their continued participation and could not carry on in the competition,” said Simba.

He added that the administration is satisfied with how the league has proceeded so far since kicking off in December last year.

Multitudes of football followers across Manicaland are, however, already getting excited at the prospect of another team from the province being promoted into the top-flight league.

To them, this will be a big boon for the game in the province.

Said Baldwin Chidzikwe, a staunch Buffaloes and Manchester United fan: “I am optimistic that another team from this province will get promoted from Division One at the end of this season. Given the array of football talent Manicland boasts and the galaxy of stars we have produced over the years, we can have several formidable teams compete in the Premiership. I have been closely following action in the Eastern Region Division One and have been impressed by GreenFuel and Mutare City Rovers’ campaign so far that we are already looking forward to exciting times ahead.

“Overall, this is good for our local game in the sense that it will give rise to more junior clubs or academies that can serve as feeder sides to the senior teams. This will also help promote the creation of more vibrant grassroots structures to ensure sustainability and continuity for the clubs in the province.”

The development, he added, will also create business opportunities for players in the hospitality and tourism industry through visiting teams camping here; thereby unlocking the province’s vast potential and profile it as a prime tourist destination.

Championship-chasing Mutare City Rovers said they are in it to win it.

Gusha Bhora team manager, Lyndon Kanyemba said they are plotting another return to the Premiership.

“We are competing for the top honour and are geared to regain promotion. Having been there and done that, we are confident that we can play among the big boys of the domestic game again. Experience will carry us through. Our goal is to add to the number of teams from Manicaland playing in the Premiership so that we have more local top-flight derbies in the province,” said the seasoned administrator.

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