After clawing back into the Eastern Region Division One via the playoffs, former premier Soccer league [PSL] runners-up Masvingo United looked set to make one big assault for a return to top-flight football.
By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Everything seemed rosy for Una Una before the start of the season with reports that the club had bagged two big sponsors and was going on a massive recruitment drive.
However, Masvingo United are finding the going tough in the Division One, let alone struggling to make ends meet, with donations from team supporters and well-wishers keeping the club afloat.
What happened to the mysterious sponsors? no one knows, but the begging bowls are truly out for the former Tanda Tavaruva-sponsored side.
Speaking to The Sports Hub, the coach Johane Chikaula revealed the dire state of affairs while pleading for sponsorship.
“Currently the team does not have any sponsors and we have to rely on the supporters who are helping by buying the players food, catering for their accommodation as well as their transport when we have away games.
Things are really tough for the team as a whole.
Without sponsorship there is nothing we can achieve,” he said.
“Gate-takings are not even enough to provide for the team.
We had James Jamu, who has since moved to Chapungu.
We had registered a lot of players, but they did not come because of financial problems.
The team we played pre-season friendly matches with is not the team currently playing and that has a huge effect on the results.”
The team seemed to have found new sponsors before the season started this year.
They had even signed foreign players from Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ivory Coast and hired former Burundi coach, Cameroonian Richard Kapelo, but things did not go according to plan.
The team finds itself in 10th place in the league and has lost three matches in a row going into the weekend.
“So far we have played 10 games, won only two, lost four and drawn four and this also goes back to the fact that the morale of the boys is low.
The team is playing very well, but the only problem is that we do not have players hungry for goals. in other words, we need good strikers.”
“The good strikers we had moved to other teams in search of greener pastures.
We have two players from Pamushana High School who have just joined us, Paul Mupasi and Simba Ngundu.
We hope we will have more school kids to play for the team as they are less demanding in terms of finance and other stuff than the other players who want to make a living out of football,” he said.
Chikaula said the team had a bright future but they needed a lot of support for them to push forward.
“For now, we are fighting to stay in Division One as we gather resources for next year and once all is settled, we then get promoted back into the PSL — the team has to put Masvingo back on the football map,” said Chikaula.