BY REX MPHISA
DULIBADZIMU United FC this weekend returns to Dulivhadzimo Stadium for a “must win” encounter against high-riding Midlands side Tel One.
Dulivhadzimo Stadium, Beitbridge’s equal of Rufaro in Harare and Barbourfields in Bulawayo, is the Beitbridge soccer theatre of dreams.
It is for Chelsea fans in Beitbridge Stamford Bridge. Anfield for Liverpool. Emirates Stadium for Arsenal and Old Trafford of course for Manchester United.
Dulivhadzimo was witness to Underhill, Beitbridge’s first ever team to break into premiership, travel the long winding soccer journey to glory.
Dulivhadzimo was witness to Triple B, Edmore “Mr Nyce” Kanyangu’s dream break into the jungles of premiership football.
Town Clerk Loud Ramagkapola inspecting the ground ahead of Saturday crunch game against Tell One.
Me Nyce is credited with the upgrade of Dulivhadzimo Stadium to reach the premiership standards – something entrenched in all soccer lovers hearts.
The stadium was also witness to the long journey of Border Strikers to top flight football, long after attempts by Hosea “Mixer” Muleya.
Muleya, also known as “Topi” is a Beitbridge football God whose dream never died even after hanging his boots.
Mixer made attempts with the likes of Gibson “Mabhanan’ana” Makhanda, his brother the late Chester, Ndivhuho “Chimwana” “Tato”, Darlington “Danda” Nyengedza, Immigration officer Mugo – that was then and good old days witnessed by Dulivhadzimo.
All soccer lovers will not forget “Gonzo” Liketso, a marvel to watch, who turned out for Bob Manala coached LYT, Limpopo Young Tigers who plied their trade in Dulivhadzimo.
LYT, the late businessman DS Tshili’s dream team faded without reaching the promised land.
And this Saturday Dulibadzimo United return to the stadium where they played their first game against Vumba Chikwe then abandoned it partly to a carefree attitude by city fathers.
The local authority has forever failed in that regard, and one wonders where their social welfare funds are diverted to in a town devoid of children playgrounds, community balls, public toilets, to name a few.
Dulivhadzimo Stadium now comes second best to Mabhidhi Stadium 10 kilometres outside town but well maintained even in the absence of water carted daily to water the arena.
Mabhidhi Stadium is fit for international games with the required North – South goal posts which are the international standard.
In terms of ground security the Municipality of Beitbridge falls short, clearly lacking on every front, the pitch is porous, poorly drained and unkempt.
Three weeks back sewer waste spilt into the stadium which resembled a healthy paddock for beef ranching. Birds swammed for worms.
Yet for Saturday’s fixture, coach Stanley Ncube and his boys in red and black opted the ceremonial home of local soccer, hoping to wake up the Gods of Beitbridge football.
Captained by Leeroy “Nduzo” Rwokuda Dulibadzimo United will want to speak to the bulky midfield maestro the late Sobala “Stoba” Ncube.
They want a piece of Owen”Bla Odza” Murombedzi’s magic touch.
Can Given Masuka hop into their shoes and give them a jump start?
“We want a compact place where there is little space, Tell One is a quality side and we don’t want an open game, yes we will attack but people should expect some reserved moments,” Stanley popularly known as Stano said.
“It’s a game where the nore tactically organised team will carry the day. We have upped our preparations and this going to be one of the most competitive games of our season.”
“We expect our supporters to be fully behind us,” he said.
Town clerk Loud Ramagkapola and his deputy Satulana Moyo on Wednesday worked from the stadium to restore it.
Together with Dulibadzimo United Secretary General Mandla Kombat Moyo and vice chairman Forster Abheki Ramagkapola combed the stadium calling staff on ways to prepare for Saturday’s return.
Dulibadzimu residents await the encounter, mouth watering as billed.
“We have the ground ready for Saturday’s game and hope the team can rotate between Mabhidhi Stadium and Dulivhadzimo,” said Ramagkapola.
Amatengwane will curtain raise the match against Dulibadzimu United reserve side.