Ngezi out to defend league title

03 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Ngezi out to defend league title

The Sunday Mail

Don Makanyanga

Sports Reporter

THE honeymoon is over and Ngezi Platinum Stars have already etched their name in the history books as the 2023 Castle Lager Premiership champions.

The Mhondoro-based team has now set sights on defending their crown.

At least, that is the gospel according to head coach Takesure Chiragwi, who believes he has assembled a squad that has what it takes to defend their trophy.

“We achieved what we achieved in 2023, and 2024 is a new season,” said Chiragwi.

“It is a season in which we have new teams. Squads have been boosted and clubs have corrected their mistakes.

“This shows just how serious they are in terms of competing and wanting to win the championship. We will have to fight the same way we did last year.

“I do, however, think that this season will require a lot of effort in fighting for the title, and we will be ready,” he said.

With the difficulties that come with successfully defending a league title, Chiragwi expects the same from his players.

He has been preaching the gospel of “mental strength” during the run-up to the commencement of the season this weekend.

“Football is a game of pressure; every game that you play comes with its own set of pressures.

“The fact that we won the league last season means we will be facing more challenges in the upcoming season.

“We are the champions, we will have to defend the title and this calls for the team to be prepared mentally,” said Chiragwi.

As part of their title defence, Ngezi Platinum have beefed up their squad with the arrivals of Obriel Chirinda, Richard Hachiro, Never Tigere and Talent Chamboko.

Hachiro, Chamboko and Tigere made their debuts last weekend, and the trio left quite the impression on their coach.

“I was pleased with the way our new players adapted into the game situation, which is something we wanted to see during the Castle Challenge Cup,” said the platinum miners’ gaffer.

Ngezi Platinum Stars sent a strong message of intent when they beat Dynamos (2-1) to lift the season opener Castle Challenge Cup.

Chiragwi even described the win as a confidence booster.

“When you win, you build up the confidence, and this is so important for the team.

“To get into the season with a win gives them (players) motivation, and helps create a fighting spirit within the camp.

“We are the reigning champions, so it is good for the reigning champions to keep winning and to have that mentality of winning,” said Chiragwi.

Ngezi Platinum Stars begin their title defence campaign with an away date against Zifa Southern Region Champions Arenel Movers.

They will then host FC Platinum in the second match of the season and then travel to Kariba for a date with ZPC Kariba.

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