The weapon in Tapera’s hands

17 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
The weapon in Tapera’s hands Michael Tapera (left) celebrates his goal against Bikita Minerals at Sakubva Stadium last Sunday

The ManicaPost

 

Ray Bande
Senior Reporter

 

OF all the Castle Lager Premiership adventures enjoyed by gifted top marksmen down the years, few, if any, can match the exhilarating drama experienced by diminutive, yet speedy Manica Diamonds right winger, Michael Tapera.

In each of the last five league matches, which Manica Diamonds have won, Tapera has scored, and in most of those games – his solitary goals were enough to earn his side victories.

What makes Tapera’s match winning goals vital for the Mutare diamond miners is that not so long ago they were at the basement of the league table, and from the last six rounds of matches, the club is now perched at the summit of the log standings.

With five goals to his name so far, Tapera is now the joint top goal scorer after Match Day Five, together with Bulawayo Chief’s Never Rauzhi, FC Platinum’s Juan Mutudza and Highlanders’ Lynoth Chikuhwa.

 

Such is the influential contribution of the 46th minute super substitute, who is now an opponent demolition weapon in the hands of Manica Diamonds coach, Jairos Tapera (not related).

His routine 46th minute introduction, together with an equally slippery and pint sized Charles Teguru on the left, has proved too hot to handle for most of their opponents.

For the record, they (Taperas) have similar surnames, but do not have any form of biological relationship.

Young Tapera said: “I have heard so many people asking me, and some assuming that he (Jairos) is my father. Truth of the matter is that we are not related at all. I am of the Moyo totem, while he is of the Hungwe totem.”

Where did he start his football career?

Tapera, who is turning 26 next month, started playing football when he was 10 years old in 2008 while at Pfumo Primary School in Chitungwiza.

He moved to Chibi High School for his secondary education where he continued developing his football talent.

He became more serious about his prospects of playing at the highest level of the game in the country and beyond when he joined Masvingo United in the Eastern Region Division One.

“I was with Masvingo United from 2018 to 2019, before joining Manica Diamonds in 2020. It is at Manica Diamonds where I started playing Premiership football. When I was at Masvingo United, it dawned on me that I had the requisite talent to play at the highest level of the game,” he said.

Tapera has a double digit goals target for the 2024 season.

“At least 17 to 20 goals will do for me. That is my target for the season. I set that target for myself this year,” he said.

While many refer to him by the moniker, Gunners, others know him as Chimudhudhudhu (bike).

“When I was playing under coach, Johanisi Nhumwa, he gave me the nickname Chimudhudhudhu, perhaps because of my pace. I got the nickname Gunners in junior football years when I was turning out for a team called Teachers.

“When I joined that team, they asked me which position I play and I said number nine. From there on fellow players christened me gunman and shortened it to Gunners,” he said.

Tapera refused to disclose his club’s Premiership title aspirations, saying it is still too early and possibly premature to do so.

“It is too early for me to talk about that.”

This is the long and short of a player who could become the next big thing for the domestic top-flight league!

 

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