Amini tips Chirinda to excel Ngezi Platinum players mob second half substitute Obriel Chirinda (number 18) after his goal.

Tadious Manyepo

Sports Reporter

THERE were wild celebrations in the Ngezi Platinum Stars changing room after the miners clobbered Chicken Inn 3-0 at Baobab last Saturday.

Last season’s 2023 Golden Boot winner Takunda Benhura, Talent Chamboko and Obriel Chirinda were on target for the home side.

While the victory ensured that the reigning champions are firmly back within touching distance of leaders FC Platinum, who enjoy a seven-point cushion over Takesure Chiragwi’s charges after 15 games, the miners were also celebrating the coming in of Chirinda.

The latter only made his debut against the Bulawayo side after he arrived in Mhondoro before the season kicked-off in March.

He had been on the sidelines as he was at the centre of a contractual dispute involving Dynamos.

The Warriors fringe striker was accused of having signed two contracts, one with Ngezi Platinum and the other with the Glamour Boys, and the Premier Soccer League decided to withhold his licence to avoid soiling the league, after Dynamos had reported the case.

However, Chirinda was cleared by the ZIFA Player Status Committee three weeks ago and his debut goal for Chiragwi’s team left his teammates, who were all along comforting him, thrilled.

And Ngezi Platinum Stars captain Qadr Amini said Chirinda’s coming will hugely help them.

Chirinda was voted the third-best player in the league last year when he was still at Bulawayo Chiefs in a race won by Amini.

“As a team, we are very happy with the coming in of Obriel Chirinda. We know for sure that he is a good player and a good striker.

“His mentality is outstanding and even when he was yet to be cleared, Chirinda was training very hard and everyone was seeing how hungry he was,” said Amini.

“He has always been ready and we were all looking forward to seeing him play. He just showed it in our match against Chicken Inn when he made his debut, coming on as a second-half substitute and scoring.

“He just showed how he could be very important to Ngezi Platinum. I have always known Chirinda to be a good striker and if he hits good form, we stand a good chance as a team to retain our championship.

“As Ngezi Platinum Stars players, we always supported him when things were down for him. We made sure that he felt at home and we are happy he is someone who is switched on.

“It was all positive for him and we were there for him. Now he can do his thing and we are all happy as a team.”

Chirinda will be hoping to score again when his team faces Herentals at Rufaro in one of the most eagerly-awaited match day 16 fixtures.

Meanwhile, as part of their efforts to cultivate their identity with the wider Mhondoro community, Ngezi Platinum have twinned with Wanganui High School.

The club recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the learning institution which will see the two institutions partnering in a bid to promote both footballing and academic excellence.

Interestingly, Wanganui High School is where the club identified one of their talented youngsters Nisbert Muzenda who will be writing his Advanced Level examinations this year.

Club chief executive officer Amanda Nyanzero yesterday told Zimpapers Sports that Ngezi Platinum Stars were keen to invest in junior structures while also taking care of upcoming talent’s educational needs.

“We have partnered with a local school, Wanganui High where we have already kick-started our development plan with junior players.

“We will be recruiting youngsters with potential and enrol them at Wanganui High School to make sure that they are developed both academically and football-wise,” she said.

“We are very happy to take this path. We are an institution that also values the wholesome development of human beings and we are determined to see to it that we achieve that.

“We are a community team and we are thriving to develop the community to which we belong.”

Ngezi Platinum already have a development team, Ngezi Platinum U19 which competes in the Northern Region Soccer League.

They also have a women’s team in compliance with the CAF Club Licensing requirements ahead of their maiden participation in the CAF Champions League this year.

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