Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
MIDFIELDER Never Tigere is excited that he has clinched a one-year contract with ambitious Tanzanian football club Azam after winning the league title with FC Platinum last season.
Tigere’s contract with the Zvishavane-based side expired on December 31 last year.
The player had been linked with Zambian clubs, but yesterday the dead-ball specialist was unveiled by the East African club Azam after completing negotiations on Monday evening.
Tigere’s agent, George Deda, managed to beat the transfer deadline in Tanzania and concluded the deal which has been described as a “lucrative one”.
Speaking to The Herald from Dar es Salaam yesterday, an elated Tigere paid tribute to his family and FC Platinum for giving him a perfect platform to showcase his skills.
“I am so excited that I have signed my first professional contract outside Zimbabwe. This is a good move in my career. I am happy that I will have guidance from big brothers Bruce Kangwa and Donald Ngoma who have been playing here.
“I will learn a lot from them about Tanzanian football and culture.
“I would like to thank my agent Mr Deda for facilitating the deal, and FC Platinum for giving me a chance to express myself.
“I also thank my family for standing by me during the formative years of my career up to this day. I promise to continue working hard at my new club,” said Tigere.
Azam is home to former Highlanders defender Kangwa, who is now the club’s vice-captain. Kangwa said everyone at the club is pleased to have the Zimbabwean midfielder on board.
“We are happy to have Never in our team. We will work very well with him during the period he will be here. He is a good player and everyone at the club knows that,” said Kangwa.
So keen were Azam on the player that they made extra effort to fly the player’s agent Deda, who was in hospital, to East Africa to seal the deal. Deda said the midfielder had attracted interest from other clubs in the region.
“St George’s of Ethiopia and Horoya of Guinea were also interested in the player.
“The mid-season window period is short, so we opted for Azam because it is a club with a lot of potential. Tigere was voted one of the best 11 players in the local Premiership, and this shows how he has transformed himself as a player. At ZPC Kariba, he was the club’s best player (for consecutive years) and he carried the same form to FC Platinum.
“I am delighted that one of my players signed a professional contract amid great interest.
“Our brand is growing. We started sending players to Zambia, and now everyone is trying to sell players to those countries.
“I am trying to cultivate a good working relationship with a lot of traditional clubs in the region and I am happy that countries like Zambia and Tanzania are attracting a lot of our talent unlike a few years back when I started bringing players to these clubs”, Deda said.