HARARE – The long road to the Mbada Diamonds Cup final has begun and the dream is well and truly on for the 16 clubs involved.
The country’s richest football competition roars into life with first round of matches spread across the country this weekend.
What mostly raises anticipation for this tournament than any other in the history of Zimbabwean football is that Mbada represents what real sponsorship is.
On top of the $100 000 the winner is set to get this year, all clubs, including the first round losers, will receive a pay cheque from the sponsor.
Participation costs and appearance fees are also catered for, leaving clubs to do their core business of playing football.
This also puts the clubs on the same footing, which increases the likelihood of having the most deserving winner at the end of it.
So, who is going to win this year’s tournament?
On paper, Dynamos, Highlanders and Motor Action are considered the teams to beat this time around.
Mbada defending champions and inaugural winners Dynamos, who have won their last five league games, are currently riding high and their ruthless form makes them irresistible. They have potential to go all the way again.
Their rivals in the title race, Highlanders, also have a big chance of lifting the cup.
Bosso have been playing an attractive brand of football this season, but they are yet to perform in a big tournament for a long time.
One will have to wait and watch to see if they can turn the tide this time around.
Last year’s runners-up, Motor Action, are another team to watch for.
Although devoid of big name players after losing several key players in the off-season, as a team they still pack a punch.
Then, of course there is a team like CAPS United, which cannot be written off despite enduring a miserable season in the league this year.
The ailing Harare giants have a lot to prove going into the Mbada Cup.
And then there are dark-horses liked Shabanie, Harare City and Monomotapa who are capable of spoiling the party.
All in all, Mbada promises to be an exciting and memorable tournament.
May fair play prevail and the better team win!