Teguru targets Chibuku Super Cup triumph

HARARE - Donald “Spanner” Teguru is deep in sleep when he is suddenly woken up by a knock on his door just before 7am.

The Ngezi Platinum Stars winger is still recovering from an intense training session from the previous day but he has no choice but to drag his weary body as the knocks get louder.

As a professional footballer, Teguru usually has late starts to his weekdays as training with the rest of his teammates begins later in the afternoon so it is a bit unusual to expect company at his home this early.

When he finally makes his way to the door, he is surprised to find a young four-year-old boy Tapiwa on his porch.

To Teguru’s surprise, the young boy is one of his biggest fans, who immediately requests an autograph and a picture with his hero.

“I never expected to be answering knocks on my door from such a young fan that early in the morning,” Teguru tells the Daily News.

“It really touched me because I never imagined I would be a role model for young children when I began my football career.”

Teguru’s early morning encounter with this young fan is testament to how his career has blossomed quickly inside a period of 11 months.

At the start of the year, he was virtually an unknown entity in Zimbabwean football having only featured in the second-tier league with Twalumba FC.

However, the 22-year-old had caught the eye of then Ngezi coach Clifton Kadurira during the two teams’ duels in the Northern Region Division One League.

When Ngezi won promotion into the top flight this year, Kadurira made Teguru one of his first signings.

Although their debut season has had its ups and downs, Ngezi can finish the year with some silverware as they take on FC Platinum in the Chibuku Super Cup final at Baobab Stadium this Saturday.

Winning the country’s premier knockout tournament against an established side like FC Platinum, who are still in the league title race, will be a big achievement for Ngezi in their first season in the top flight.

“Obviously, it’s like a derby match but we want to win this competition at all costs,” Teguru says.

“Our fans will come in their numbers since we are at home and it will be nice to give them something to celebrate at the end of the final.”

It has not been an easy ride for Ngezi to get to this final as they initially struggled to cope with the demands of top flight football.

The Zimplats-owned side only won two of their opening 10 leagues games before they roped in former Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya to take over while Kadurira was relegated to the role of assistant.

Under Ndiraya, results slowly started to improve while a few additions like Walter Mukanga, Kelvin Bulaji, Partson Jaure and Criss Mverechena were made to bolster the squad.

Safety from relegation was achieved some weeks ago as they currently sit in mid-table with only two games to go which gave them impetus to concentrate on the Chibuku Super Cup.

In the same period, Teguru has also shown the promise which led to Zimplats sanctioning his signing from Twalumba.

Bamboozling past defenders with some silky dribbling skills, the forward is now Ngezi’s most influential player with all their attacks going through him.   

“Our problem at the start of the season was that we didn’t have any belief in our own abilities and winning matches proved difficult,” Teguru says.

“However, we now have a new-found confidence which has helped us a lot to go into matches against any opponents without fear. Ndiraya also made a few good signings which has given us a lot of depth.”

Ngezi’s belief can be clearly seen in the two high-octane clashes they were involved in against Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.

The first was a Castle Lager Premiership match at the end of last month which was decided by a contentious last minute penalty when Ngezi defender Talent Chamboko pulled down Bosso striker Ralf Matema inside the box.

Erick Mudzingwa stepped up to convert the spot-kick and give Highlanders a 2-1 victory.

Three weeks later, Ndiraya’s side was back at Emagumeni for the Chibuku Super Cup semi-final but this time around they returned to Mhondoro Ngezi smiling after Liberty Chakoroma’s penalty secured a precious 1-0 win.

“We went into the semi-final high on confidence because we had given them a lot of problems in the league game,” Teguru says.

“Highlanders are a good side but we never gave them much respect because we now have quality in our team. Every player knows their role and we now fight until the end.”

It is a similar approach Ngezi are going to use in Saturday’s final against FC Platinum and Teguru has every right to feel optimistic because it has been a winning formula.

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