Ncube key to Shabanie's survival

BULAWAYO – Shabanie Mine coach John Phiri has praised the match-winning performance by midfielder Xolani Ncube in the win over Bantu Rovers at the weekend.

The midfielder was at the heart of all the Chinda Boys’ attacks as they ran out 1-4 winners at Hartsfield Rugby Ground to ease their relegation worries.

Ncube scored twice and created the other two goals scored by Wellington Kamudyariwa and Michael Mageja.

With the win, the asbestos miners moved to 32 points on the log and need to keep on picking points in the remaining four games to avoid the drop.

“Xolani is a good player and he knows what he is doing. I have no doubt he is a fighter, he is a committed player even at training,” Phiri told the Daily News.

“With the way he has played this year you guys (journalist) should market him. I think in all fairness he must be considered among the Soccer Stars of the Year.

“You can also agree with me that you have not witnessed such a performance from a player from a small team in many years.”

The hard working midfielder, who was on the books of Highlanders before he was released at the end of the 2011 season, was untouchable against Rovers.

Ncube said he was devastated after Bosso offloaded him and that helped him develop into a player that he is today.

“When I was offloaded at Highlanders, I cried but I knew it was time for me to pull up my socks and work even harder. Moving from Highlanders taught me to be a fighter and a hard work,” he said.

Ncube went to join Division Two side Town United before he sealed his move to the Zvishavane-based at the start of this season.

Since then, the 27-year-old has become a key figure in the Chinda Boys’ squad.

Ncube hopes to continue with his rich vein of form to help Shabanie escape relegation and with a bit of luck maybe earn a move broad. 

“I want to make a good life out of football. A football career is very short and I am working hard so that I can get offers from other bigger teams in South Africa. Then I can also live large like other players. All I have to do is stay focused,” he said.

“At the moment my immediate task is to make sure Shabanie Mine survives relegation. As a team we don’t want to have bad names for getting the team relegated.”

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