Chuma revels in charges' success

HARARE - Highlanders goalkeepers’ coach Tembo Chuma has every reason to be proud of his work in the three years he has been with the 2013 Mbada Diamonds Cup winners.

The unassuming former Masvingo United keeper has in the past two years scaled great heights with two of the keepers under his mentorship being selected to grace the Soccer Stars of the Year calendar.

Last season, then Bosso first choice goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda was part of the 11 best footballers in the nation.

This year Munyaradzi Diya took it a step further after wresting the number one jersey from Sibanda, when he was not only selected among the best performers in the league, but his shot stopping heroics illuminated the country’s biggest cup tournament leading to his being chosen as the Mbada Diamonds Cup player of the tournament.

Nicknamed Chokri after former Tunisia national team goalkeeper Chokri El Ouaer, the Binga-born Chuma attributed the good showing by the Bosso goalkeepers to unity of purpose.

“It gives me great pride to have worked with two top class keepers that have made it into the Soccer Stars of the Year calendar and I would like to believe that such a feat was made possible by the work ethic that we have in the goalkeeping department,” Chuma tells the Daily News on Sunday.

“All the keepers under my tutelage understand that they have to work hard because no-one is guaranteed a spot in the starting line-up and I am happy that despite the fact that they fight for a starting berth the competition between them is done in a friendly manner.”

It was evident that the Bosso keepers enjoy cordial relations when Diya was asked to make a speech after being handed his player of the tournament prize during the Mbada Diamonds Cup prize giving ceremony.

The Bosso number one heaped praises on his coach Chuma and his teammates Sibanda, third choice keeper Archieford Katsande and the Under19 goalie identified only as Pro.

Chuma joined Highlanders in 2011 after parting ways with Masvingo United when he felt the Tanda Tavaruva-owned side had given him a raw deal after denying him a chance to be head coach in the Premiership in 2010.

Chuma had single-handedly guided Una Una to the Eastern Region Division One championship to clinch the sole promotion ticket.

“In my first season in charge of the goalkeeping department at Highlanders, Ariel narrowly lost out to Washington Arubi in the race to be chosen as the best keeper in the land but last year he won that and went on to play for the national team,” Chuma said.

“This season Diya has flourished and he has also gone on to become part of the national team and it is my hope that the younger keepers at Highlanders will follow in their footsteps.”

Chuma played for Kango in the Southern Region First Division before turning out for Masvingo United where he later became head coach and led the team into the Premier Soccer League before quitting after the owners brought in Luke Masomere to take over.

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