The Herald (Harare)

3 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Chipembere Confident

NEWLY-PROMOTED Premiership soccer sides -- Black Rhinos, Triangle, Tripple B and How Mine - have vowed to make immediate impact in the in the top-flight league next year. Quelaton and Hardbody

flirtation with Premiership football ended after just one year and many are questioning if these newly-promoted teams can stand the heat and establish their names to become household names on the domestic scene.

Black Rhinos, under the guidance of Nesbert "Yabo" Saruchera, triumphed in the Zifa Northern Region Division One to book their place back in the Premiership after a three-year absence.

Chauya Chipembere sealed their place in the Premiership with three games to spare.

Powered by their experienced players such as Brighton Chandisaita, Brito Gwere, Lloyd Nyamadzawo and Menard Mupera, Rhinos were a handful for most teams during the 2012 season.

Saruchera believes Rhinos are now back where they belong and are ready to bring back memories of the past when the army side were a force to reckon with on the domestic scene.

"Like I said before, this is where we belong and we want to rekindle memories of the past. Rhinos is a big team with great history," said Saruchera.

"We have a strong team capable of fighting in the Premiership. We have been there before and we know what is needed, we are no stranger to top-flight football.

"There was a lot of competition in the First Division but my players showed a lot of character to win the championship," added Saruchera.

Tripple B became the second team to earn promotion into the Premiership from the Central Region.

Tripple B began a fresh campaign in Division One on a bright note after losing a bruising boardroom battle for promotion against eventual winners Hardbody last year.

The arbitration panel conceded that Hardbody had indeed used an illegal player but ruled against Tripple B for failing to cite the concerned player as one of the respondents.

The controversy was centered on Hardbody's use of Tatenda Chingara who played without a reverse international clearance on his return from a stint in Namibia.

Tripple B coach Friday Phiri believes they have done justice and proved the "doubting Thomases" that their feat last season was not a fluke.

By guiding Tripple B into the top-flight league, Phiri marked his second triumph in Division One after he guided Monomotapa into the Premiership in 2004.

"There was a lot of competition and coming this far has not been easy for us.

"We had a point to prove especially after that boob last season against Hardbody. We wanted to set the record straight.

"And now that we are in the Premiership we are going to beef-up our squad by bringing in players with some top-flight exposure.

"We are not coming to make up numbers in the Premiership.

"We want to avoid early exit from the league and our main priority will be to settle in the league then we can start challenging for honours afterwards.

"There are players whom we are targeting but I can't reveal their names as yet as it might jeopardise our preparations and plans," Phiri said.

Meanwhile, Gishon Ntini made history by ending a 42-year wait for Triangle to make their maiden dance with the Premiership.

Triangle shrugged off challenge from rivals Hippo Valley to wrap up the league with three games to spare.

Not even match-fixing allegations could deter them from bringing Premiership football to the Lowveld area for the first time.

Ntini reckons his newly-promoted team is ready to challenge the established clubs in Castle Premiership when the new season begins early next year.

Ntini, who is no stranger to top flight management having previously coached CAPS United, Shooting Stars and Black Rhinos in the PSL, described Triangle as a "big team" due to its huge fan base in the Lowveld.

" I recently reviewed our performance during the just-ended season and I discovered that I have a good team.

"We might want to add six players to make it a complete team. I am not new to Premiership football. That's where I belong and obviously I am coming there to cause some upsets.

"We are going to throw everything that we have at our disposal and make sure we become a household name.

"Our main thrust will be to maintain our place in the league then we start to build from there.

"The longer it took to get into the Premiership the longer it must take for us to stay in the league.

"People from the Lowveld have been starved of Premiership football for quite a long time and this is their time to enjoy Premiership football," Ntini said.

How Mine pipped Bantu Rovers on the last day to earn promotion from Southern Region.

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