Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
HARARE City made the biggest scoops of the off-season break to date when they landed the signatures of two of the country’s deadliest midfielders – Ronald Chitiyo and Raphael Manuvire.
The Sunshine Boys announced yesterday that they have finalised one-year deals with both players ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for the registration of players for the CAF inter-club competitions.
Taurai Mangwiro’s men are preparing for their maiden dance in Africa where they will represent Zimbabwe in the Confederation Cup. To strengthen their squad, they had already roped in former Younger Warriors and Flame Lily left back Edwin Madhananga on a three-year deal and centreback Jimmy Tigere, who joined from Triangle on a two-year contract.
It looks like Warriors winger Mavin Gaki could be their last buy if they can agree terms with the Triangle player on time.
Secretary-general Matthew Marara yesterday said they are excited with their catches after agreeing terms with Chitiyo and Manuvire’s manager, Farai Mushaninga. Both players were free agents.
Castle Lager Premiership Soccer Star of the Year finalist Manuvire is coming from ZPC Kariba where he had indicated that he had had enough following the expiry of his contract.
He has signed a straight one-year deal while former Dynamos playmaker Chitiyo has an option to extend by another year. Chitiyo had given his former team DeMbare the preference but he decided to move on as the Glamour Boys’ offer was not appealing.
In the end, DeMbare’s loss was City’s gain as the diminutive player will re- unite with Mangwiro, his former coach at Monomotapa.
The players went through their medicals yesterday with some of their new teammates at Harare City in preparation for the pre-season, which starts next Tuesday.
“I can confirm the players have signed the papers. It probably took this long because we wanted our lawyers to go through the documents and try to explain to the players some of the clauses in the contracts.
“They did their medicals today (yesterday) and everything was okay. Both players are excited with these developments and we wish them a glorious stay at Harare City,” said Mushaninga.
Harare City indicated they will waste no time to register their squad with CAF. Their spokesperson Marara said they only expect good returns for their investment.
The Sunshine Boys have been paired with AS Adema of Madagascar in the preliminary round, with a potential thriller expected in the first round against Zambian side Zanaco, who had a bye.
“We don’t want to leave things until the last minute, so we are going to register our squad tomorrow (today),” said Marara.
“I believe as the executive we have done our part and now we are wishing the team well in their endeavours. We did our best for the technical and it’s now up to them.”
Harare City have also promoted two players from their structures with left-back Dexter Mawere and winger Tinashe Ruzvidzo getting four-year contracts.
Zimbabwe’s representatives in the Champions League, Chicken Inn, have so far completed the signing of former Gunners and Flame Lily striker Moses Demera. Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas said they had wanted four or five players to beef up their squad but they were un- successful with the likes of Manuvire and former Triangle winger Hillary Bakacheza who has gone to FC Platinum. Antipas, however, said they will be able to beat tomorrow’s deadline.
“We are in the process of finalising our squad. I’m sure the management is working overtime but as we have said before, we are not really going for a big number. Our hope is that we will retain the bulk of our players and we want a few players who can add value to the team,” said Antipas.