HARARE – Buffaloes captain Dananai Chinowawa, who at 34 is one of the oldest players in Zimbabwe’s Premiership, says it is only fitting that his club lift the prestigious Mbada Diamonds Cup for the province of Manicaland.
Chinowawa — who has played top-level football in the country for 18 years — believes winning the country’s richest football competition will be a befitting honour for his home province, which is home to the diamond minefields managed by the tournament sponsor, Mbada Diamonds Company.
Buffaloes, who were promoted back into the Premiership at the end of last season, also received a sponsorship package from Mbada at the beginning of the season.
The Mutare-based side currently sit in fifth place on the log standings with 36 points from 21 games.
The soldiers host Black Mambas in front of their home crowd at Sakubva Stadium in Mutare on Sunday in the Mbada Diamonds Cup first round.
“The Mbada Diamonds Cup should not go anyway else but Mutare,” said Chinowawa, who has previously played for defunct Mutare top flight clubs Tanganda and Mutare United.
“Our fans have been very supportive and now we must return the favour.”
Buffaloes currently have the third meanest defence in the PSL behind Dynamos and Highlanders.
They have conceded 14 goals in 21 matches.
Chinowawa says it is their watertight defence that has laid a solid foundation for the team.
“The youngsters have been doing well. We are improving day by day and this is the confidence we need to go all the way in the Mbada Cup,” he said.
FIRST ROUND FIXTURES
Saturday: Highlanders v Blue Rangers (Barbourfields), Monomotapa v Hardbody (Dulibadzimu), CAPS United v Motor Action (Trojan), FC Platinum v Harare City (Nyamhunga).
Sunday: Dynamos v Quelaton (Rufaro), Chicken Inn v Gunners (Pelandaba), Buffaloes v Black Mambas (Sakubva), Shabanie Mine v Hwange (Maglas).