Tutani relives Rhinos yesteryear glory

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BLACK RHINOS FC survived relegation by a whisker in the last Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.
They had to know their fate on the last day of the season after occupying the bottom part of the log for a greater time of the season.
Their head coach Arthur Tutani, with three games left before the season ended, said the chances of surviving relegation were becoming slimmer and slimmer as they had played to a goalless draw at Rimuka Stadium against Harare City.
In the following fixtures, Tutani got it right and finished the season occupying eleventh position with 40 points.
They miraculously survived the relegation chop that saw Black Mambas, Tripple B, Motor Action and Monomotapa reverting back to Division One.
The year 2014 starts with Tutani at the helm of the army side affectionately known as ‘Chauya Chipembere’.
Last season, he had to take over the team from Nesbert Saruchera who was shown the exit after a string of poor results.
Now the task of Tutani is to bring back the Black Rhinos glory of yesteryear under the tutelage of Shepherd Murape.
The Black Rhinos of Japhet Muparutsa, Simon ‘AK’ Mugabe, Maronga ‘The Bomber’ Nyangela, Stanford ‘Stix’ Mtizwa, Stanley Ndunduma, Jerry Chidawa, Gift Makoni and Fanuel Nyamukapa among others.
Chauya Chipembere got promoted into the top flight in 1983 and the year 1984 was a history making year for the league debutants.
The team a brainchild of the late General Solomon Mujuru, won the league title in its maiden year.
So far no team has achieved this feat.
FC Platinum came close to winning the title in 2011, but lost on goal difference to Dynamos.
The Black Rhinos of the 80s, Tutani acknowledged was star-studded.
“That was a star-studded team with a lot of talent,” said Tutani.
“We are building a team that will be half of that, but it’s not easy.”
While the coach was not at liberty as to who has penned a deal with the army side, several new faces will surface at Rimuka – Black Rhinos home ground.
Tutani says he wants to avoid the 2013 scenario where they survived the chop on the last day.
“If you can’t plan well, you will be planning to fail,” he said.
“So we must win the first five games.
“If you start on a bad note, all teams will collect points from you and find yourself in a bad position.”
Last season the strikers let them down – a department Tutani says needs to be beefed up.
They tried to rope in the services of veteran Gilbert Mushangazhike to help their finishing, but of the many chances created on goal, many were fluffed.
“We did not finish well in front of goal last season,” said Tutani.
“It was our major setback.”
On who has made it for 2014 season, Tutani only said they have off-loaded some and will accommodate others.
“We have off-loaded some players, but we retained the bulk of our players from last season,” he said.
About 40 players are part of the team training at One Commando Barracks that will be trimmed to 30.
Among others on the training field were former CAPS United midfielder Charles Chiutsa and former Monomotapa goalie Tapiwa Zvaita.
Black Rhinos shifted base from Harare to Kadoma and the move paid-off.
The team plays before a bumper crowd and they recorded big crowds in matches against Highlanders and Dynamos.
This season, the Kadoma fans will have more to identify their team with as four players from the mining town made it into the team.
The youngsters join some players from Kadoma like Osborne Mukuradare, Kaitano Tembo and Raphael Phiri among others.
Black Rhinos FC is one of the teams that have played at the highest level in the African Safari, but got relegated from the top flight more than twice before they returned in 2013 in the top flight.
Arthur Tutani’s credentials as a coach are impressive.
After guiding Mwana Africa into the premiership in 2005, the team was a force to reckon with.
It conquered Africa only to be booted out by TP Mazembe in the intermediate round of the CAF Confederation Cup in 2007.
With Black Rhinos relishing a formidable side, all remains on the field of play to determine the outcome.
With less than two months before the season gets underway, a series of friendly matches are lined up for Chauya Chipembere.
They play against Dynamos in a friendly tomorrow at Rimuka Stadium.

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