Ndiraya awestruck by Heart

Khama Billiat sitting in the Yadah changing room at the Heart Stadium

SIMBA Bhora coach Tonderai Ndiraya walked into an office-cum-press conference room at the new Heart Stadium last Saturday, warmly greeting the waiting journalists, as he always does.

His side had just spoiled a perfect homecoming party for Yadah, beating the home side 2-1 in the first game at their new stadium.

He made himself comfortable in an executive office chair, resting his hands on top of a solid mahogany desk.

Ndiraya glanced around the room and said; “Everything here is nice,” before turning to talk about the match.

The well-spoken gaffer spoke glowingly about how his expensively assembled team was progressing, as he singled out goal scorers Tymon Machope and Walter Musona for praise.

Inevitably, Ndiraya was asked to give his thoughts about the new stadium, which he hailed as the best in the country.

“It is one of the best stadiums in the country, if not the best at the moment,” Ndiraya raved. “The facilities, well, I am tempted to say, are world-class. It is the best stadium in the country, the changing rooms are something else. It is a great facility. The playing surface is very nice, you can play your normal passing football, we have seen that today.

What we want is to try and play good football and when you play in a difficult surface it becomes difficult but when you play on a good surface like this, we can always improve in terms of how we are trying to teach these players to play good football. We want to play football on the surface but sometimes it is difficult because the stadiums that we are playing in are in bad shape."

The first phase of the Heart Stadium, with an initial sitting capacity of 5 000, was officially commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in December last year, but Yadah finally got to play their first topflight game at the ground at the weekend.

The owner of the facility, Prophet Walter Magaya, has put plenty of work into ensuring that the stadium has world-class facilities including spacious dressing rooms equipped with 100-inch television sets while the playing surface is in pristine condition.

To top it off, golden toilet seats, similar to the one used by the late football legend, Diego Maradona, at the Argentina team facility in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, are also installed at the Heart Stadium to give the shower rooms a modern and intimate atmosphere.

There are plans to double the seating capacity as well as improve other stadium amenities so that it can host international matches

Following their win over Yadah, Ndiraya's title-chasing side moved to third position on the log standings with 10 points, three behind leaders Highlanders after five rounds of matches.

Simba Bhora's next league match is a home game against Ndiraya's former club Dynamos at the newly-built Wadzanai Stadium in Shamva.

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