By Grace Chingoma
Ngezi Platinum coach Tonderai Ndiraya has confirmed that his club will raid the transfer market, but ruled out making wholesale changes to the team which finished third in the championship race.
Until the penultimate stage of the season, Ngezi were very much in the title mix before they fell 2-1 in decisive game against FC Platinum at Mandava. Ngezi have noted from their experience in the top-flight that they still need to beef up their squad.
Ndiraya and his technician crew got the news they wanted to hear when the club’s board gave them the nod to raid the market, with Ngezi president Stanley Segula making the pronouncement during the Mhondoro side’s glitzy end of the year awards ceremony on Tuesday night. Segula said the board has approved a budget for the coach.
“The board has approved that the coach invades the market. Inevitably, some team members will depart the club.
“I, as the president of the club, declare with confidence that the NPS brand has crossed the Rubicon and never to look back.
“There is a feeling that 2018 will be the year of great things for this club. We want to consolidate our position as one of the Big Four teams and if the opportunity presents itself, we will take it (the league title).
The trajectory points to a blue sky ahead. At some point we were facing relegation in 2016, turned around the situation and never looked back,” said Segula.
Ndiraya said they would hunt for quality players.
“We are just going for the best players, the president has spoken loud and clear. We want to consolidate the top four, that means we have to strengthen.
It’s important for us as well not to make some wholesome changes, this is the same team which took us here.
We will go for the best, we have been given the green light, we know the players we want and we will recommend them to the executive,” Ndiraya said.
The young coach believes all the departments in his team require a boost.
“We were very disappointed by the way we conceded goals, so goalkeeping really needs attention, central defence is key as well and we have to bring some quality players there.
We want to strengthen our midfield, especially the defensive link. If you notice most of our midfielders are offensive. At least if we can also get two strikers to complement Terrence (Dzvukamanja) and Clive Augusto, that would be good for us” said Ndiraya.
As the club talks of raiding the market, the axe is also hovering on a number of players who might leave the club either by being offloaded or not getting contracts renewal.
“Of course, when you strengthen, it means some players have to make way. Quite a number of contracts are expiring, so we will review each player’s performance, whether they met their targets or not, and those who don’t will make way for new players,” said Ndiraya.
Away from the transfer market, the Tuesday night ceremony brought some unwinding moments for the players and the executive as they mingled with their board members and supporters, celebrating after the club finished third.
And the special night belonged to midfielder Tichaona Mabvura, who walked to the podium twice to collect Player’s Player of the Year and the Most Improved Player of the Year awards.
He also received $800 for the two awards. Mabvura dedicated the awards to his father, who passed on during the last stretch of the league matches.
The big award, the Player of the Year went to rejuvenated defender Qadr Amini, who also received $600, a trophy and a big cake for his achievements.
Top goal scorer Terrence Dzvukamanja got $400 while the Rookie of the Year Award went to forward Clive Augusto, who was rewarded with $300.
Midfielder Godknows Murwira was voted the Most Disciplined Player, while the Davison Tavari claimed the Most Loyal Player. Malvin Kwinjo was the Most Improved Young Player, pocketing $300.
At the same function, the club also unveiled the Macron kits, imported from Italy, which they will be using next season.
Ngezi Platinum join other European clubs such as English side Stoke City and Italian side Lazio, who don kits from the same manufacturer. In fact, Ndiraya’s men will have four kits – two for home and as a many for away matches during the season – which are tailor made for the Ngezi brand.The Herald