PSL preview No4: Will Masomere's magic work at Buffaloes?

MUTARE - Although Buffaloes have lost their most outstanding players from last season, the arrival of new coach Luke Masomere has ushered in a new era at the Mutare-based club.

The soldiers lost to forward Steven Sibanda, who was the league second highest scorer with 13 goals in 2013, to FC Platinum, while the rock-solid defender Themba Ndlovu went to Dynamos.

The two players were instrumental in helping Buffaloes survive relegation from the Premiership in their second season.

FOOTBALL DOCTOR: Luke Masomere's arrival at Buffaloes has the entire Mutare confident that the soldiers can win some silverware this season.

The arrival of self-proclaimed “Football Doctor” Masomere has, however, been greeted as the army side’s panacea for the forthcoming season.

The well-travelled former Shabanie Mine coach brings a lot of experience to Watungwa Watungwa, who struggled for consistency last season under the guidance of Timothy “Sicho” Masachi.

Last season was Masachi’s debut season as a Premiership coach and at times showed his lack of experience as Buffaloes struggled towards the later part of the season.

What Masachi lacks in experience in the top-flight, he compensates it by fusing the exuberance of the youthful players from his La Sakubva Academy with the arsenal at his disposal.

INEXPERIENCED: Timothy Masachi will be Masomere’s assistant coach this season.

That tactic worked well for Buffaloes last season but there was a stage when they flirted with danger at times.

The arrival of Masomere, who comes in after guiding the less fancied Shabanie Mine to BancABC Sup8r glory last season, has already raised self-belief in the Buffaloes camp.

Buffaloes are already dreaming big this season and hope they can challenge for silverware in one of the knockout competitions that are up for grabs this year.

Masomere has the knack to unlock the potential in seemingly average players as highlighted by his various successes at relatively small teams.

He made his mark when he led AmaZulu to the league title in 2003.

He then moved to Masvingo United where he led the Tanda Tavaruva-owned side to a second place finish in the league in 2005.

Under Masomere’s watch, the club also lifted the Zifa Unity Cup, the Independence Trophy and the OK Woza Bhora Trophy that same year.

This time around, Masomere hopes to work his magic with the Mutare soldiers in the forthcoming season.

Despite losing Sibanda and Ndlovu, Buffaloes were able to retain the core of their 2013 squad.

Jacob Muzokomba, who netted 12 goals in the league last season, chose to remain with Buffaloes despite a number offers from rivals clubs.

Muzokomba will be the main man this season after Sibanda’s departure and he is likely to be ably assisted by new signing Evans Gwekwerere from Black Mambas.

Gwekwerere will be out to revive his career that seems to have taken a nose dive in recent seasons.

The former CAPS United and Dynamos forward had an average season in 2013 with Mambas before trying his luck in Botswana earlier this year.

If Gwekwerere can rediscover the form that made him a household name at DeMbare and Makepekepe, then he will be worthy asset for Buffaloes.

NEW CHALLEGE: Evens Gwekwerere hopes to revive his career with Buffaloes this season.

In midfield, Buffaloes is likely to rely heavily on the quartet of Mike Nyamukasa, Lloyd Katongomara, Takunda Jeffrey and Malvin Samaneka.

Masomere wants to build a good side that will attack with blistering pace on the counter and Nyamukasa will be key.

Masomere also arrived with the midfield trio of Frankson Bushiri, Eria Phiri and Tafadzwa Mombeshora from Shabanie Mine.

It is clear that Buffaloes will not be pushovers this season considering the number of attacking players Masomere has at his disposal.

In a bid to plug the hole left by Ndlovu’s departure, the club have roped in defender Bruce Puso from Eastern Region Division One side Mutare City Rovers.

Buffaloes conceded a total of 42 goals in 2013 and if they are to improve this season, Masomere needs to make sure that the likes of Liberty Chakoroma, Phillip Chandisaita, Shepherd Nkata, Moses Gutu and Kelvin Thembani are up to the challenge.

Buffaloes have good quality defenders but they failed to defend as a team last season. That’s a cause of concern for them.

Between the sticks, Masomere has retained Hopeful Bere but he will have to fend off the challenge of former Gunners stopper Prosper Chigumba.

While it seems like Masomere has been able to assemble a decent side, Buffaloes is a volatile club in the boardroom.

There is usually a lot of interference in team selection and tactics by the club’s executive which is something that forced former coach Saul Chaminuka to leave the club.

The outspoken Masomere needs to be slightly careful with his utterances, which can provoke the trigger-happy executive.

Daily News’ prediction this season:  7

Last season’s position: 12

Comments (2)

In Mutare,the fans have invested a lot of trust in Masomere and his charges,we therefore call upon the executive to reduce the admission to $2 so as to lure back the fans who had deserted the team.Once the fans start filling the stadium regulary they can then revert to the $3 cause its good to have big crowds that can create an intimidating atmospere for the visitors than to play in empty stadia.Also restrict the number of VIPS who gain free entries,a concerned VIP should instead pay more than anyone else to cushion his beloved team.

GLAMOURBOY - 19 March 2014

Ko Simon "Simomo" Choenda haana kutaurwa sei?

Warumwa waruza - 20 March 2014

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