Ngezi Platinum rope in Zulu, Chikuni

HARARE - Ngezi Platinum Stars yesterday appointed Tendai Chikuni and Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu as part of new coach Erol Akbay’s backroom staff ahead of the 2019 Castle Lager Premiership season.

The ambitious Mhondoro-Ngezi-based side finished in second place last season behind champions FC Platinum.

Madamburo had parted ways with coach Tonderai Ndiraya with five games to go before the end of the season and replaced him with assistant Clifton Kadurira on an interim basis.

However, towards the end of last year, Ngezi Platinum announced that former Highlanders coach Akbay would be the team’s new coach for this season.

At that point, they had not made any announcements regarding the Dutchman’s backroom staff.

“Following the announcement of…Akbay as the new Head Coach of Ngezi Platinum Stars FC, the Club also wishes to announce the appointments of...Chikuni and…Zulu as Assistant Coaches to bolster the technical team,” Ngezi Platinum chief executive Nyasha Kadenge said in a statement yesterday.

“Chikuni brings a wealth of regional and local experience. Chikuni is well-equipped to support the incoming coach who is expected to bring the Dutch flare to the game.”

Previously, Chikuni was assistant coach at FC Platinum where he worked with Rahman Gumbo.

He also had a stint with Shabanie Mine and guided the Chinda Boys back to the top flight after winning the Central Region Division One title in 2016.

At the start of the 2017 season, Chikuni left Shabanie before emerging at Chapungu where he stayed before moving onto Central Region Division One side ZPC Munyati last year.       

The club’s statement was silent on the fate of Kadurira and goalkeepers’ coach Gift Muzadzi but it looks like Madamburo has severed ties with the duo.  

“Zulu is renowned for setting up successful football club academies and winning Premier League accolades with some of the leading football clubs in Zimbabwe,” Kadenge said. “He is bringing over 30 years of experience in football management to the club.”

The Madamburo boss believes the changes in coaching department will bring better fortunes to the side as they seek to dethrone FC Platinum.

“The technical team has undergone a transformation which will rejuvenate the club and translate into some exciting football on the field of play,” she said.

“Akbay is expected to join the team soon. The Board and executive team are confident that the transformation of the technical team will ensure that Ngezi Platinum Stars FC continues to delight its supporters and sponsors.”

Akbay and his technical team will have a tough task of assembling a good side as the club has already lost a number of their influential players.

Versatile defender Godknows Murwira has joined FC Platinum while midfielder Walter Mukanga has left for Harare City.

Striker Clive Augusto also vacated Baobab Stadium to join Bulawayo-based side Chicken Inn.

A number of players are also agitating for moves away from the club during this transfer market.

The only dose of good news for the club is that captain Liberty Chakoroma, who had been heavily linked to newly-promoted Manica Diamonds, opted to extend his contract and stay in Mhondoro-Ngezi.

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