A number of players have dumped their local clubs and joined the great trek to either South Africa or Botswana to take up jobs which they say pay them better than playing football at home.
Recently the league lost one of its promising stars, Johnson Zimbabe who was the second top goal scorer during the 2011 mid-season soccer season after a football career spanning only close to a decade.
Zimbabe left the country in June 2011 heading for South Africa where he has taken up a job as an irrigation engineer.
In an interview with Standardsport from his base in South Africa, Zimbabe bemoaned lack of sponsorship for the local league and said it is going to take a lot of time for the domestic league to shape up and lure high-profile players.
The former Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT) student who graduated with a Bachelor of Technology Honours Degree is working in the neighbouring South Africa as an Irrigation Engineer at Rostec Landscape and Irrigation Water Management.
“The country has good players but because our league is not paying well, the country will continue to lose good players who are supposed to see us through to major sporting events,’’ Zimbabe said.
“I remember when Thulani Ncube left the country, he never came back to do duty for the Warriors but he was our trusted captain. So the leadership at Zifa and Premier Soccer league has to do something as a matter of urgency.”
“I have played for only one club in Zimbabwe, that is Masvingo United. I had no choice because I got a car from the club owner and he is the one who was paying all my school fees during my time at school and even my time at the university,” Zimbabe said.
The pint-sized midfield-cum-striker who cut his teeth at Masvingo United while he was still a Lower Six student at Gokomere High School in Masvingo in 2003 could not dismiss a quick return to football. “Maybe I will find a club to play for in the lower divisions here in South Africa. Nothing concrete has happened so far but I have started training with one club.”
Zimbabe was spotted when he played in the Coca-Cola national schools competitions before he was drafted into the National Under-20 team. He later graduated to the Young Warriors fold before securing two national team caps under the leadership of Moses Chunga and Charles Mhlauri respectively.
He dedicated his services to the Busmen for nine years, including the four years that he was enrolled at Chinhoyi University of Technology until he graduated in 2010.
Zimbabe scored once for the Young Warriors when they played Angola in Randburg in South Africa in 2005.
By the time that Zimbabe left the country, he had helped Masvingo maintain a better position on the 16-member log table and he had five goals on his belt, a goal shy from leaders Rodrick Mutuma and Njabulo Ncube who played for Highlanders.
In 2008 when Cuthbert Malajila won the Golden Boot with 16 goals, Zimbabe was breathing behind him with 15 goals to his name.