By Ray Banded
Premiership debutantes Manica Diamonds yesterday made a bold statement of their intentions to make a huge impact by unveiling 19 players, including former Warriors captain Partson Jaure.
The Gem Boys became the first Premiership side to unveil their 2019 season players when they paraded the contingent of players who included veteran defender Jaure and former FC Platinum winger Marshal Mudehwe.
They also paraded ex-Dynamos defender Peace Makaha, former national Under-20 skipper Wisdom Mutasa, veteran goalkeeper Ashley Reyners and ex-Young Warriors utility man Pritchard Mpelele.
Apart from the players snatched from fellow top-flight league teams, Manica Diamonds also roped in new players from ambitious Eastern Region Division One clubs Green Fuel and Buffaloes.
The Gem Boys also retained a number of players from last season, including goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo, Timire Mamvura, Tinashe Chigede, another goalkeeper Godfrey Chisango and striker Stephen “Dealer” Sibanda.
Club secretary-general, Sugar Chagonda, said a lot has been said on social media and the unveiling ceremony was meant to put to rest some of the baseless rumours that have been circulating.
“It is sad that a lot has been said on social media and one of the reasons for this unveiling ceremony is to put to rest some of the baseless rumours.
“For example, we have been linked to Denver Mukamba and I wonder where that was coming from,” said Chagonda.
Club chairman Masimba Chihowa said they will work flat out to fill the remaining slots with players that will add depth to the squad unveiled yesterday.
He said the five slots meant for junior players will be filled strictly by players from Manicaland.
“We are required to sign five players that are under the age of 20 and these will be taken strictly from Manicaland.
“The remaining six will soon be announced and they have to be players that add depth to the squad that we already have.
“As you can see we have tried by all means to build a youthful side. That was one of the guiding principles as we came up with the list of players for our team,” said Chihowa.
The former FIFA panel match official admitted they could not get all players on their wish-list, including some who trace their roots from Mutare, such as Liberty Chakoroma who opted to remain with his current employers.
Manica Diamonds gained promotion via the ZIFA Eastern Region Division One where they completed the season without tasting defeat. The Herald