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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Manica Diamonds eye top honours

Story by Kenias Chivuzhe

MUTARE-based Premier Soccer League side Manica Diamonds have started preparations for the 2023 season after bolstering their squad to challenge for honours.

After finishing 10th last season, Manica Diamonds, affectionately known as the Gem Boys are hoping to mount a serious title challenge this year after embarking on a player-shopping spree.

The Gem Boys have enlisted the services of the likes of Ralph Kawondera and Trevor Mavhunga from Dynamos and Brett Amidu from Chicken Inn.

This has left Manica Diamonds head coach Jairos Tapera convinced he has a formidable squad to challenge for honours.

‘‘I joined Manica Diamonds last year in November taking charge of the team’s last five games of the season. We planned to strengthen our squad soon after the season. By 20 December we had negotiated and agreed with the players we were targeting. All the players we requested agreed to join us. We have Donald Ngoma from Triangle United, Brett Amidu from Chicken Inn, Ralph Kawondera and Trever Kavhunga from Dynamos, Farai Banda from Rhinos, and Tinashe Mutasa from Tenax, among others.”

Having secured the targeted players, training is now in full swing, with a number of friendly matches lined up to improve fitness and combinations.

‘‘We started our preparations about three to four weeks back. We had a bonding period for ten days in Chiredzi where we invited referees, psychologists, dieticians and all others to prepare for the new season. We have been conducting physical fitness training since then. We started friendly matches last week with green fuels and we saw many positives and had another and this is our third. We want to improve the level of fitness.”

Manica Diamonds had a promising start to the top flight after finishing 5th in their debut season in 2019.

They also started well last season and were at the top of the log standings at one point before fizzling out towards the end of the year.

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