As ECCO City Greens take on their hoodoo side, Township Rollers, in the Mascom Top 8 final at UB Stadium this afternoon (kick off 3pm), all eyes will be on ECCO’s talented left-winger, Lovemore Murwira.
Since joining the northern giants on loan from BMC in January, the Mapoka-born winger has been on the lips of most football supporters for his five-star performances. This has led to Rollers claiming that they have agreed a three-year deal with BMC to bring the dreadlocked starlet to their camp. While both ECCO and the player say that there is nothing like that, Rollers are adamant that he will be donning their colours next season.
ECCO chairman, Mothusi Madikwe, attacked Rollers during a press briefing in midweek at Lekidi Football Centre, saying that they were surprised to hear Mapalastina announcing that the player is theirs.
“We have a deal with the player until 2014 and we’re not worried about those reports (which say he belongs to Rollers). We have since sat down with him and he’s gone through counseling and he’s focused on the final,” said Madikwe.
Despite the attention he has received in the build-up to the final, the 23-year-old winger was his usual self on Friday morning.
“The mood in the camp is high and we’re looking forward to the game. We want to make history and I would like to encourage our supporters to come and cheer us on. I’m not worried about the transfer speculation linking me to Rollers. I’m going out there to try my level best to help ECCO win the game because they’ve been good to me,” said Murwira. ┬á
He added that he is under no pressure to impress anyone, especially their opposition. He dismissed the reports that he has already agreed personal terms with Rollers. ┬á
“Honestly, I’m happy here (at ECCO) and I want to continue with them. I’m meeting with the BMC chairman (Sonny Phiri) next week so that he can tell me what the future holds for me,” he pointed out.
When Murwira arrived at ECCO, the then coach Chris Tembo did not have confidence in the talented winger, it was the current coach Atshele Molapi who gave the youngster the platform to showcase his skills. He has been instrumental in their Top 8 campaign which saw ECCO eliminating BMC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
ECCO are aware that for them to beat Rollers they will have to come up with something special because they have not beaten Mapalastina in recent times.
Rollers are under pressure to win this cup after missing the league to their nemesis Chiefs. In the Coca-Cola Cup last weekend, Mapalastina were tossed out by Chiefs, something which has put coach Mike Sithole under immense pressure to deliver. After their loss to Chiefs, Rollers’ management has been forced to recall their marksman Mogakolodi ‘Tsotso’ Ngele from Platinum Stars. Without Ngele last weekend, Rollers looked ordinary upfront and his presence this afternoon puts them in good place to win the clash. He is expected to play a vital role and hopefully add to six goals he has already scored in the tournament. The game is expected to be the last one before Ngele joins Platinum Stars on a permanent basis.
Ngele arrived in the country from South Africa on Friday evening.