PSL preview no3: Shabanie rebuilding from ashes

ZVISHAVANE - After losing almost all of their entire 2013 squad, Shabanie Mine have embarked on a rebuilding exercise for the forthcoming season.

The asbestos miners lost outspoken coach Luke Masomere to fellow Premiership side Buffaloes.

Masomere is the man who defied all odds to help the Chinda Boys survive relegation despite the players going for months without salaries and bonuses.

NEW ARRIVAL: Godknows Murirwa is the one of many former Monomotapa players who have settled at Shabanie Mine ahead of the new season.

Vahombe also led Shabanie to the 2013 BancABC Sup8r Cup at the expense of bitter Zvishavane rivals FC Platinum.

A number of the club’s senior players, who were at the heart of that Sup8r success, quit the club as they sought greener pastures elsewhere.

Veteran midfielder Tafadzwa Mombeshora, midfielder Eria Phiri, left-back Peter Muzondo and rising midfielder Frank Bushiri followed Masomere to Buffaloes.

Valentine Ndaba went to Highlanders while the duo of goalkeeper Roy Mazingi and defender Blessed Mbavarira crossed to fellow Midlands side Chapungu.

Shabanie’s top goal scorer from last season, Pervington Zimunya, packed his bags for the capital to join CAPS United.

MOVING ON: Luke Masomere has found a new home at Buffaloes after quitting Shabanie Mine at the end of last season.

Striker Tarisai Rukanda decided to cross the great divide to sign for FC Platinum.

Fungai Chirinda was lured to Bulawayo by How Mine, who are playing in the African Confederation Cup, while Caleb Masocha opted for newly-promoted Bantu Rovers.

Of all their 2013 squad, Shabanie were only able to retain three players, captain Smart Muchabaiwa, goalkeeper Victor Twaliki and midfielder William Ngonya.

New coach John Phiri had to basically build a new squad as he was only left with a shell.

In the quest to reconstruct a new team, Phiri had to resort to relegated Harare club Monomotapa players.

At least six Monoz players, Godknows Murwira, Melson Nelson, Zvikomborero Biserck, Allan Tavarwisa, Carlos Messi and Hamilton Masumbuko all jumped ship to join Shabanie.

The trio of Murwira, Nelson and Biserck have quickly settled in Zvishavane and look like they are going to be instrumental in the Chinda Boys’ quest to build on their cup win from last season.

During the CG Msipa Charity tournament match against FC Platinum, Murwira and Nelson proved a handful down the flanks.

Biserck on the other hand looked like a beast in the centre on the midfield as the Platinum duo of Thabani Kamusoko and Simon Shoko struggled to contain him.

Shabanie have also recruited defender Rueben Machaya, who made his name at Motor Action, as well as former Masvingo United and FC Platinum midfielder Hardlife Mavundi.

Xolani Ncube has also arrived from Town United together with London Zulu from ZPC Hwange.

The club has also signed Napthare Ndale from Masvingo while former captain Michael Mageja, who helped the team regain promotion into the Premiership in 2009, returns to the club to reunite with Phiri.

Former Zimbabwe international Zvenyika Makonese, who has been rejected by a number of clubs for lack of discipline, is training with the club.

The biggest handicap for Shabanie is lack of funding which has affected them for the past seasons because the principal sponsor Shabanie Mashava Mine is not operating, forcing the club to rely on donations from well-wishers in the community.

The situation has been further compounded by friction between some of the well-wishers and the executive led by club president Doctor Greg Mataka.

Due to these differences some of the well-wishers like Vadette Trading withdrew from helping the club last season.

Last year, the club was hit by a series of player strikes, something which is expected to continue this season.

Problems have already surfaced with newly-appointed assistant coach Vorster Chitemu leaving the club before the season started.

The club failed to offer the former AmaZulu and Monomotapa defender a lucrative contract.?Zvishavane businessman Samson “Sam Dread” Gondwe has chipped in to help pay for the new players but it is not clear whether he will continue to bailout the club throughout the season.

Shabanie also started their pre-season training late as Phiri was still running around to put together a squad.

A lack of match fitness in the opening matches is likely to be key issue for the Chinda Boys due to their shoddy pre-season.

The availability of a regular proven goal scorer is likely to handicap the asbestos miners this season.

Even during the pre-season warm-up matches new forwards Ashley Mukwena, Messi and Tavarwisa have failed to find the back of the net so far.

To avoid flirting with relegation this season, Phiri needs his strikers to find the back of the net more constantly.

Shabanie will have to rely heavily on their home form this season if they are to keep their Premiership status.

The Chinda Boys enjoy a lot of support when playing at their home ground at Maglas Stadium as thousands fill the venue.

The asbestos miners open their 2014 season at home against Triangle.

A win for them will be vital in lifting the spirits of the players ahead of a tougher assignment against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium in their second match of the season.

Daily News predicted position: 8th

Position last season: 10th

Comments (2)

Come on Chinda Boys

Sir Jephy - 18 March 2014

Mataka does not know soccer. He must leave so that sponsors come in/back. Shabanie can be better without him. It is the Zvishavane community that must vote for the executive rather than the mine leadership/management putting their deadwood.

Bhora mberi - 18 March 2014

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