Chaminuka’s heart bleeds for Matsapha United

Noel Munzwaba

MATSAPHA United had become Saul Chaminukaa��s second home for the past 19 months. Their promotion to the MTN National First Division took everyone by surprise.

With a meteoric rise to the Swazi soccer top tier which saw them spend two weeks at its apex following a nine match winning streak, Chaminuka had ranked among the best football brains in the league. But suddenly, all that seems to have changed.

Starting the year with three draws and a win was not good enough for the fans, some of them turned hostile, a hostility that at some point turned physical forcing the former Zimbabwe Warriors assistant to quit in February.

It was a heart wrenching decision as he turned his back on the team when it was in third position on the log from 17 matches. Seven matches later the team has slid to ninth on the log with just one round of matches to before the end of the season.

Though safe from relegation, the team has headed the in wrong direction after initially targeting a top four finish a�� to the bottom four something that has left Chaminuka disappointed as he follows the teama��s progress from his Chivhu farm.

a�?I honestly feel for the teama��s most loyal supporters who are being put through such agony as the club was at one point promising to fight for top honours in the Swazi League. But the other hand I blame the fans for this situation as they failed to be patient.

a�?I was trying to bring discipline to the teamA� to make sure I do away with this mentality of some players being more special than others from the most senior player to the most junior.

a�?I was looking beyond 2022 and it was a painful decision to leave. Some fans got over excited lacked the understanding of the game and I hope now they understand,a�? said Chaminuka.

Though he has put the Matsapha United experience behind him, Chaminuka hopes the team will get a coach who will return the club to glory during the forthcoming off season.

Chaminuka announced his arrival in Swazi football with a 2-0 win in the National First Division on a Friday night on the 16th of September 2016.

That marked the beginning of his meteoric rise that saw him bag 31 wins, 10 draws and as many defeats, scoring 102 goals and conceding 51.

With such a record Chaminuka should have surely struck the right chord with the fans.

Despite winning his last two matches with an identical 3-2 scoreline over Tambuti FC and Tinyosi, fans began to lose patience with the Zimbabwean coach leaving him with no option but call it quits.

Chaminuka, being the Christian that he is, says he has found it in his heart to forgive the irate fans.