Ajax Hotspurs promoted into Division One League

Ajax Hotspurs promoted into Division One League
Published: 13 November 2014 | by Lovermore Dube,

AJAX Hotspurs director Siphambaniso Dube has insisted that his team is not going into the Zifa Southern Region Division One League to fill in the numbers but in there to compete with a view of one day playing in the Castle Lager Premiership.

Hotspurs were promoted last year after winning the Bulawayo Province Division Two league.

"We are not coming into Division One to make up numbers. We are going in there to compete for every honour and we have a wish to play Premiership football some day.

"In our first year, we will be there to learn and consolidate our position before we come full throttle next year to gun for the title and ultimately Premiership football," said Dube.

Promotion into the 64-team promotional level was at the club's 10th attempt after it was established in 2001 as Foundation College.

In an interview last week Dube said he was happy that patience had paid off. He said what started as a joke had turned into reality.

Hotspurs were founded by Dube in 2001 at Foundation College. Urged by club director, Message Ncube, Dube sought to have the institution playing under the National Association of Secondary School Heads banner. After their request was turned down by then soccer head Cuthbert Chiromo, Dube did not give up with his quest to have the college boys play active football.

"I was frustrated out of athletics because of politics in the sport. I had played soccer at Cyrene and I felt I could give back to the sport through grooming talent. When we were told that we were an informal school, we decided to play on our own as a club but based at Foundation. We played in the 2001 Zifa Cup losing 5-4 on penalties to Dairibord at Nguboyenja," said Dube.

He said he was impressed with the feedback from the fans and when he heard that Missing Links wanted to give up their Division Three franchise he did not hesitate to grab it.

"We played Division Three football with Priel Agencies and Foundation College backing us up.

"The next year we found ourselves in Division Two and since then we have been fighting for promotion," he said.

The closest that they had come to promotion was in 2007 when they were pipped by Chicken Inn.

"We had beaten them 3-1 in the first round of the championship, they led us by a point in the decider. The game was played at Bango Grounds, I have never seen such a big crowd for a Division Two match, but unfortunately we drew 1-1 and they were promoted to Division One.

"Most of my players could not take the heartbreak, many left for South Africa.

"I then decided to introduce a junior policy and the first intake of Under-13s are the boys who were in the first team last year," said Dube.

He said his team would play home matches at White City Stadium. He bemoaned the fact that they would not be playing at Bango Grounds which has been their home for the past decade.

"The residents of Mpopoma and Pelandaba have been great. Its sad we won't be playing at Bango Grounds but we hope our fans will follow us to White City Stadium and cheer us on," said Dube.

He said Division One football will be something different.

"We know what to expect but we are committed to standing our own and make a difference by producing young players of the highest quality on and off the field and contribute to national teams in Zimbabwe and the game," said Dube.

Highlanders legend Douglas Mloyi is the club's technical director.

Dube said they would unveil sponsorship packages for the business community. He said getting someone to sponsor everything could be difficult.

"We will unpack or unbundle packages like referees' fees, allowances for players, transport, accommodation, meals to make everyone comfortable.

"The team will remain a community asset and we hope people will come forward and support the club all the way to the top. We are where we are because of their support, they were great while we were in Division Two," said Dube a 400m runner and long jumper turned soccer administrator and coach.


- Chronicle
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