Thursday, March 30, 2023

I will miss scoring against Chiefs ÔÇô Sukunyetsa

Zimbabwean striker Mandlaenkosi “Sukunyetsa” Sibanda joined Premier League side ECCO City Greens in 2006 and became an instant hero amongst the club’s fans.

He used to strike fear amongst the opposition defence when it was time to face Mamojadiskie.

His skill and ability to score classy goals especially on the big stage made him the talk of town.

After eight years of service, Sukunyetsa has decided to return to his homeland where he has joined How Mine FC.

Despite the challenges he has faced at the Francistown side towards the end of his stay, he says he has nothing but fond memories about Mamoja-diskie.

The poor financial state at ECCO City Greens meant that Sukunyetsa has to seek greener pastures elsewhere. It was a difficult time for Sukunyetsa who was a role model to many youngsters in Block 7 location in Francistown where ECCO City had most of their fans.

But he knew that when time has come, one should not look back. He had to open a new chapter in his life and forget about the troubles he encountered in the last couple of months he was at the club.

Having served ECCO City with distinction for eight years, Sukunyetsa had to sit home for some months as he was involved in a conflict with employers.

The matter ended with the involvement of Botswana Players Union in order to get him out of the nasty situation.

Having made his debut against Bulawayo powerhouses Highlanders in the 3-1 loss last weekend in the Chibuku Cup quarterfinal match, Sukunyetsa is looking forward to re-launching his career.

He came on as a 54th minute substitute for Gilbert Nguwodzawo but it was too little to inspire his new side.  

“It was good to run into the field after eight months of suffering. I’m passionate about football and I was so excited to play again. I don’t want to talk about my last months at ECCO City because I consider it to be water under the bridge. I’m happy here unfortunately my debut ended in a loss,” says Sukunyetsa from Zvishavane.

He remains confident that once he gains full match fitness, he will get back to the form which made him a household name in Botswana Premier League.

While he left ECCO City under a cloud, Sukunyetsa says that he will always be grateful to the club.

A year after joining Mamojadiskie, he was part of the history-making squad as they became the first northern side to win the League.

“That was (winning the league) the best moment of my career at the club. I can confidently say that ECCO made me become the Sukunyetsa who was adored by many in Block 7. I’ll always remain indebted to the club for everything they have done for me. Overall I enjoyed my stay there,” Sukunyetsa says.

If there is anything that Sukunyetsa says he will miss about Botswana football is scoring against giants Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The Zimbabwean striker was a menace to Magosi for the entire period he stayed in the country. “I would say I had that luck of scoring against Chiefs which made me look forward to every game against them. They’re a big club and scoring against them you knew that your name will be all over the newspapers,” says the lanky striker.


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