Most pre-season permutations of the 2017 Castle Lager premiership had placed any possible chances of there being revelations of new talent considering local clubs’ growing tendency of banking on old horses to do business for them.
There is no denying that the current season has been one of the most entertaining and competitive with the steady rise of the two platinums, FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum Stars, the resurgent of Bulawayo side Chicken Inn and Harare giants Dynamos to the ups and downs of Highlanders all being under able hands.
But though some ‘old horses’ have lived up to their billing, the entertainment has come from the new boys on the field who despite the high stakes against them have managed to go about their business in the fast improving premiership.
Take a look at some of them below;
Marlven Kwinjo (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
The 19 year old striker has managed to pay back the trust his gaffer, Tonderayi Ndiraya has shown and at Ngezi Platinum he has a steady ship in which if properly natured he could be a talk of the town.
Though he has played second fiddle to the experienced Terence Dzukamanja and Donald Teguru upfront, the Prince Edward graduate skill has not gone unnoticed. He was also part of the Ngezi side which took part in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederations Cup earlier this year.
Blessing Sahondo (Chapungu)
It is easy for talent from outside Harare to be noticed and it seems Sahondo knew that when he started against Yadah Stars FC at the re-opening of Rufaro stadium in Harare where he gave his all albeit in a losing cause.
But the 24 year old shone like a beacon whenever he had the ball with intelligent runs on the Chapungu left wing, right wing leaving many to wonder how many of such boys Zimbabwe has.
Emmanuel Mandiranga (Dynamos)
Though 21 year old Emmanuel Mandiranga is not new to the premiership, the 2017 season has given him a platform which no other team had given him before and young man has taken the bull by the horns at Dynamos.
Dynamos being largely made up of young players because of their weak financial muscle, that they are virtually at the summit of the Castle Lager premiership table, tells a lot in what these boys are doing.
He became a revelation at DeMbare at a time coach Lloyd Mutasa was under fire for a string of poor results and also entrusting his faith in a bunch of unknowns but their improvement from last season as quoted by The Herald Senior Sports Editor Robson Sharuko tells a lot about the team of course and its coach.
In Mutasa Mandiranga has a coach who has unearthed some of Zimbabwe’s raw diamonds who include Devon Chafa, Denver Mukamba, Obey Mwerahari in recent years and another player on this list Cleopas Kapupurika.
Bukhosi Sibanda (Bantu Rovers)
Bukhosi Sibanda did not have to finish the season to convince teams in the lucrative ABSA premiership that he was rare talent. The diminutive 20 year old striker was snapped up by Ubuntu Cape Town as quickly as he had blasted his way onto our local scene.
His 10 premiership goals in less than 10 starts have only just been equaled by Christian Epoupa Ntouba of DeMbare.
Leroy Mavhunga (Yadah Stars FC)
23 year old Leroy Mavhunga has already been capped twice, has been called for trials in Europe at Benfica and has managed to keep the Prophet Walter Magaya owned team in a respectable position.
In Roderick Mutuma and Dennis Dauda he has two leaders, premiership winning players who are able to develop him for us or Europe to witness the best he can offer.
Cleopas Kapupurika (Dynamos FC)
He has endeared himself with the Dynamos faithful which is no mean feat. The 21 year old’s skill is out of this league and watching him in the Dynamos team leaves one imagining what Mutasa can achieve with his current crop of young stars both locally and internationally in the coming season if he does manage to hold onto them.
Tatenda Tumba (Harare City)
The 18 year old former Copa CocaCola winner found his way into the senior team this season.
The young man was introduced to premiership football last year and Philani ‘Beefy’ Ncube seems to have taken a liking to the boy starting him against Caps at Rufaro.
His came from the bench against Caps united when they were 2-1 down and managed to assist one goal and forced one in from an own goal.
Slow start but he is getting there. The young Denzel has impressed the Soweto faithfuls so much most of them believe he is the next Ronald Gidiza Sibanda because of his ball control and passes.
His confidence with the ball has made him stay at the heart of the Dutch gaffer Akbay.