By Mhlomuli Ncube
The once mighty Zimbabwe Saints who have just become a memory in top flight football have set out an ambitious programme of reviving the former Bulawayo giants.
There is a dusty pitch and a team of spirited youngsters kicking the ball around at a training session.
This is the only remnant of a once great Zimbabwe Saints popularly known as “Chauya Chikwata.”
After hitting hard times in the premiership, Zimbabwe Saints who once had great stars such as Ephraim Chahwanda, Joseph Machingura, Henry McKop and many others is now simply a memory for yester-year calendars.
But all is not lost, said the club chairman Vincent Pamire.
The veteran football administrator said after realising that Saints was not grooming talent from grassroots, a new plan was devised.
The team has developed an ambitious rebuilding programme which will nurture talent from its junior policy as it seeks to fight back to the premiership.
“We realised the importance of stabilising a team through our own talent. We will start at junior level and develop our own talent. This is the new way of doing things here,” said Pamire.
Even the clubhouse at the former Italian owned facility is now run down.
Far from resembling a picture of a national asset, the facility is only being renovated now and Pamire said nothing will stop the completion of this all important task.
“We are only interested in ensuring that at the end of the day, all is in place. We will win in our endeavours,” Pamire said.
This is a club that even former vice president Joseph Msika played for in his youth days.
Having been such a source of pride for many, only a determined Pamire and a handful of workers working at the facility are the only glimmer of hope that one day, Chauya Chikwata will be back.