Tobias Mandoreba in Hwange
Ambitious Dete team Nekatambe Cheetahs are slowly inching towards their big dream of bringing elite football into the small town after they were crowned as league champions of the just ended Zifa Matabeleland North Division Three (Iganyana league).
The team which is bankrolled by Chief Nekatambe got the ticket to participate in Zifa Mat North Division 2A league next year after amassing 65 points in this 16 team league.
Cheetahs were presented with their $400 prize money, trophy and medals at an awards ceremony held at Chezhou Primary School in Dete yesterday.
For their sweat, runners up Zebras FC received $270 with Maganyana getting $200.
Other participants also received varying amounts courtesy of the league sponsors Painted Dog Conservation, who have partnered this league from 2006 and also caters for referees’ fees, administration costs and shields for all teams at the end of each season. Chief Nekatambe said in an interview in June 2017 that his vision is to see his team make history of bringing top flight football to the rural areas like Tsholotsho FC at least by 2021.
Players who shone like beacons for Charles Ncube-coached Cheetahs include captain Alec Sibanda, Zenzo Sibanda, William Ngwenya, Divine Nekatambe and goalkeeper Tendai Dube. Cheetahs promotion means Dete’s football footprints are becoming more visible in the province as they will join Hotspurs Leopards, Iwisa Sparrows and Shumba Stars in the Mat North Division 2A league.
In his speech at the awards ceremony, Guest of Honour Archbishop Pius Ncube urged the young footballers to be more focused in their game and shun drug abuse.
“I am urging youngsters gathered here at this awards ceremony to focus on their game and resist the temptation to use drugs and alcohol abuse as it kills their game.
The province is blessed with abundant football talent and I hope the league will continue to grow in leaps and bounds,” he said.
The league’s chairman is Dominic Nyathi, while Ndodana Masuku is the secretary. Innocent Tshuma is the treasurer. Board members Themba Nyasulu (competition), Major Mathema (development) and Jaka Jaka (administration ) complete the set up.