Tapera’s Manica high hopes

15 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
Tapera’s Manica high hopes

The Sunday Mail

Sports Reporter

JAIROS Tapera cuts the figure of a rather relaxed man, a temperament made even more peculiar given the Herculean task that awaits the seasoned gaffer at Manica Diamonds during the upcoming 2023 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.

He arrived at the Manicaland-based outfit during the latter part of the 2022 season and presided over the team’s final five games.

In his brief time there, he has since found his footing.

“I believe that the five games I presided over the team last term gave me enough time to familiarise and acclimatise with the Mutare environment.

“It was also an opportunity for me to get an appreciation of players at the club,” he said.

Tapera has already started to throw his weight around.

Manica Diamonds are arguably the busiest premiership team in the country.

A total of nine players have already left the Mutare boys, with an equal number joining the club.

Chief among the players that have since left are Nyasha Chinthuli, who has moved to Dynamos; Farai Mugumwa; Tichaona Mabvura; Emmanuel Chingondi; Lucky Vundla; Lloyd Katongomera; Xolisani Moyo; Eria Mafirenyika and Ashley Reyners.

However, Donald Ngoma, Gerald Bero, Trevor Mavhunga, Tedious Bare, Godfrey Chisunga, Tawanda Chisi, Ralph Kawondera, Panashe Mutasa and Kelvin Gwao have all joined the “Gem Boys”.

“We have players whose contracts were not renewed and those who did not fall into our targeted age group.

“It is against this background that we let them go.

“We have managed to get able replacements for the players who have left us,” said Tapera.

The gaffer said it only took him five matches to realise that each and every department needed reinforcements if the team are to challenge for the league title.

“In the five games that I presided over, depth is one of the main things I noticed the team lacked.

“In our efforts to come up with a team that can compete for silverware, we have since made sure that every position must have cover.”

Tapera praised the club executive for believing in him.

“Like I have said, I have settled well in Mutare, and this is largely thanks to the support that I have been given by the club executive and board.

“We share the same vision on where we want the club to go, and exciting times are ahead of us.”

As part of their pre-season preparations, the Gem Boys will have a one-week bonding session in Chiredzi.

“There is really nothing special about us going to Chiredzi; it’s only that we are going far away from our homes so the team can bond since we have some few new faces,” he said.

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