Source: The Herald – Breaking news.
Nkosilathi Sibanda and Innocent Kurira
PREMIERSHIP champions, Ngezi Platinum have won the race to sign 27-year-old Warriors striker, Obriel Chirinda from Bulawayo Chiefs ahead of last season’s title rivals Manica Diamonds and Dynamos.
Dynamos had in December tried to secure Chirinda as a free agent on the basis that Bulawayo Chiefs had breached his contract, which was due to expire end of this year.
However, Bulawayo Chiefs successfully defended their territory and retained Chirinda to complete his final year.
This allowed Ngezi Platinum to use its financial muscle and snatch Chirinda as part of their plans to strengthen the squad for the 2024 campaign, which will also include a maiden CAF Champions League adventure.
Apart from Chirinda, Ngezi Platinum also secured the services of Moses Demera who was at ZPC Kariba last season.
Chirinda, who was last season’s Soccer Star of the Year second runner-up, scored 12 goals, missing out on the Golden Boot gong by one goal.
He was a star attraction even halfway through the year, with as many clubs expressing their interest in his services.
Yesterday, Ngezi Platinum took to social media to reveal the latest developments.
“Ngezi Platinum Stars is pleased to announce the signing of former Bulawayo Chiefs forward, Obriel Chirinda,” read the statement on X.
The other one read:
“Ngezi Platinum Stars is pleased to announce the signing of former ZPC Kariba forward, Moses Demera . . . ”
Following the big deal, Bulawayo Chiefs’ media liaison officer Allen Mpofu told Zimpapers Sports yesterday afternoon that the club wished Chirinda all the best.
“We are excited to announce that Obriel Chirinda has been sold to Ngezi Platinum Stars on a permanent move. We want to thank Obriel for his outstanding contribution as a player at Bulawayo Chiefs FC. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and thank him for his dedication and hard work on the field. Good luck, Obriel,” said Mpofu.
Both Ngezi Platinum Stars and Bulawayo Chiefs were not at liberty to reveal how much Chirinda signed for.
Bulawayo Chiefs said the striker was now a Ngezi Platinum player and that meant all inquiries about him have to be directed to his new paymasters.
Although the cash details remain sketchy, sources privy told Zimpapers Sports that Chirinda’s net value on the agreement was between US$ 20,000 and US$ 25,000.
Earlier in the off-season break, Dynamos were reported to have tried to entice Chirinda with a US$ 8,000 offer while Manica Diamonds offered US$10 000.
All seems to be going according to plan for the Zimbabwean champions with their squad preparations nearing completion, according to their acting chairman Silence Gavi.
He spoke to Zimpapers Sports during the PSL induction workshop held at the weekend.
“When we won the championship, we used mainly our junior players, we needed to organise our team. That’s what we are working on, we are introducing a few experienced players so that they can guide our junior players. I would say we are 75 percent (done with preparations) with players and also maybe with the player-coach.
“Africa starts in August, our ears are on the ground hoping that local developments will see us use one of our local stadiums so we are looking for stadia outside, but we hope that by August something will have happened,” said Gavi.
In addition to the latest signings, Madamburo had already signed former FC Platinum and Azam midfielder Never Tigere, combative Richard Hachiro, who was with Chicken Inn, and Talent Chamboko who left Manica Diamonds. Ngezi Platinum Stars are set to retain most of their players including veteran Qadr Amini who was crowned 2023 Soccer Star of the Year, last season’s Golden Boot winner Takunda Benhura, Leslie Kashtigu, Tinotenda Murasiranwa, Delic Murimba, Claude Mapoka, Bruno Mtigo, Farai Madhanaga and goalkeeper Nelson Chadya among others.