Snodia Mikiri, Sports Reporter
. . . 2018 soccer stars now pale shadows
With four games to play before mid-season, H-Metro caught up with some of last season’s soccer star finalists who have been silent on the pitch.
Some of these players had a great season last year and they were expected to improve, but things have changed.
Last year’s golden boot runner up Lameck Nhamo, who is yet to score for this season, said he is worried with his current form.
Nhamo finished the season with 15 goals, two behind eventual winner Rodwell Chinyengetere, while he was still at Triangle.
“I am also worried about how my graph is going down. This season I haven’t done anything meaningful yet. I am not getting much time and that is my main worry.
“All I know is that I was a complete player before joining FC Platinum and I was good but now I don’t know what happened.
“Maybe I am not doing what the coach likes, maybe I don’t fit in his plan, and maybe my play does not impress him.
“Maybe my play and his formation do not work well, the coach knows better,” said Nhamo.
With Nhamo joining FC Platinum, a lot was expected from him. But it seems his move is not bearing fruits, since he is lacking game time.
Last season Nhamo was scoring for fun at Triangle as he was a regular in Taurai Mangwiro’s squad.
This year he is struggling to make it into the first eleven, worse still score.
“Honestly speaking I don’t know where I am getting it wrong. I am working hard, putting maximum effort but still.
“I am more worried about this poor form than anyone else. My career is at stake here, I have to do something about this.
“I used to have ambitions to make it on the calendar this season again but with what is prevailing, the ambition has dried up,” he added.
Nhamo who is in the first six months of his two year contract at FC Platinum, hints of making a move during the window as he seeks more game time.
Another player who made a name for himself last season, David Temwanjira, seems to be struggling as well this season.
Temwanjira impressed in the early stages of last season, he had five goals from seven games at Shabanie Mine.
But this season, he is yet to score after 13 games. He was the top goal scorer at the mid-season break last season with nine goals while his move to ZPC Kariba saw him scoring five goals in the second round of last season.
“I am doing my best but I guess luck is not on my side. But I am still optimistic, with a little bit of luck, I will rise again.
“It’s a matter of scoring the first goal and the rest will follow. The chance to redeem myself and do better than I did last season is still there.
“Everything is still possible, I haven’t been at my best but I still believe. It’s part of life as footballers, we pass through these phases,” said Temwanjira.
Temwanjira said he is working harder than he did last year but things are still not going well for him.
“The combinations are contributing to my goal drought as well. Maybe I switched sides too early.
“The tactics differ from team to team and at times adjusting is not that easy for some of us. Things are tough.
“I am also under pressure from myself. I am pushing myself to the limit to deliver but still. I will be patient and see what next. God’s time is always the best,” added Temwanjira.
Temwanjira is in his last six months at ZPC Kariba after joining them on a one-year deal last year July.
He is also struggling to get game time, as he is featuring more on the bench. He is currently in South Africa for trials with Maritzburg United.
Chicken Inn midfielder Innocent Mucheneka, who is yet to impress this season, said he did not have enough preparation time.
Muchaneka, who took more than enough time to extend his contract at Chicken Inn, joined the Gamecocks while they were at another stage with their pre-season preparations.
And he said that is another reason for his poor start to the season.
“I had a slow start to the season and it happened because I missed pre-season training.
“A lot was happening but I am now confident my house in order. Brace up for a bigger and better Mucheneka.
“Things are going to where they were before, I have been improving,” said Mucheneka.
Mucheneka said he is targeting to make it on the calendar this season.
“I still have time to change the script and re-write it with better and bigger things.
“I am yet to score, started two games and missed six games. I only need to work on improving my fitness and I think all is still achievable.
“Things are going back to normal and I am feeling it, more good things are coming,” added Mucheneka.
Mucheneka seems to be getting there slowly if his performance against Mushowani is anything to go by.
Meanwhile, Joel Ngodzo, Ariel Sibanda and Kelvin Moyo have been doing justice to their soccer stars tag. They all remained with their previous teams and seem to be consistent.
Phineas Bhamusi has been performing well as well, only lacking goals.
FC Platinum midfielder Godknows Murwira is also yet to impress.
He also bemoans lack of game time. He is however, being linked with a Dynamos move as he seeks more game time.
“I haven’t featured much this season at FC Platinum. If I am not playing, I cannot say I will be living at my full potential.
“As someone who still has the desire to be on the calendar this season also, I have to do whatever has to be done so that I get game time.
“All I need is game time and we will start from there. You gain form by consistently playing,” said the former Ngezi Platinum skipper.
Since joining FC Platinum Murwira hasn’t done anything impressive.
Coach Norman Mapeza hasn’t given Murwira the chance to prove his worth and it is yet to be seen if Murwira is still worth his salt.
The player is however considering a future away from FC Platinum. He is in the first six months of his two-year contract.
Another player who is finding the going tough is Micheal Charamba from Ngezi Platinum Stars.
“This is just a phase and it has come to pass. As a believer I know that all things work together for good.
‘I don’t think there is something that I was doing that I am no longer doing. But when your team is not performing well, it’s difficult to rise as an individual.
“I am doing my best to be at the top, I just have to keep on believing. With God nothing is impossible,’” said Charamba.
Another player who needs to pull his socks is work horse Farai Madhanhanga.
He hasn’t done anything meaningful this season, and again, lack of game time could be the main cause.
He has been silent and is not even featuring on the bench sometimes.