By Mukudzei Chingwere
ZIMBABWE Under 23 assistant coach Nesbert “Yabo’’ Saruchera is basking in the glory of becoming the first Division One coach to guide his team into the Premiership this year after steering army side Cranborne Bullets into the elite league yesterday.
While they needed a victory of any margin to secure the sole ticket from the Zifa Northern Region Division One, Saruchera saw his soldiers make the most of home ground advantage to overcome the battling Grain Tigers at 2 Brigade Barracks.
Malvern Hwata found the goal that made the difference three minutes before the break and the result torched the soldiers’ wild celebrations. They will join their Black Rhinos colleagues in the top-flight next year.
Easily the best of the four Division One leagues in the country, the Northern Region naturally led by example by becoming the first to secure their slot in the Premiership.
The Central, Eastern and Southern Regions are yet to decide.
After yesterday’s match, Northern Region chairman Martin Kweza said Saruchera’s men will be handed the trophy and their prize money in a fortnight when they host Cam and Motor at their favourite hunting ground.
This is Saruchera’s second time in his coaching career to help a Division One team win promotion. ln 2014, he guided prisons outfit Flame Lily.
With three games to go, his recent triumph gives him a 10-point lead ahead of nearest rivals Black Mambas.
“From day one, we were clear about our objective, we wanted promotion and we worked really hard for it.
“I want to commend the players for their hard work. For me, it is a happy return into the Premier League.”
“The executive and the entire club leadership has been very supportive. We are happy that we have managed to deliver the Premiership football.
“I have been in the PSL before and I can assure all our supporters that we are ready for the challenge,” said Saruchera.
The soldiers’ success also elated the team’s bosses. They could not hide their excitement after the final whistle.
Club deputy patron Godfrey Mutsadyanga expressed his delight and promised institutional support for Saruchera and his men.
“We are very happy, they have done a wonderful job. lt is not easy, but they have done it.
“We have qualified to play in the Premier League and we will assist in whatever way possible so that they are competitive in there. “Congratulations to everyone who is associated with this team,” said Mutsadyanga. Sunday Mail