Mbabane: The country’s arguably most supported club Manzini Wanderers last piece of silverware came 15 years ago in the form of the Eswatini Telecom Charity Cup.
The hub giants have over the years been on a scary downward spiral, robbing the soccer-mad throngs of supporters happiness. With six league titles under their belt since the inception of the Premier League of Eswatini in 1971, mainly achieved in the 80s and countless knockout trophies, Wanderers are considered giants of local football.
Despite their support base alongside Mbabane bitter sworn rivals Highlanders and Swallows, they are referred as the traditional big three teams.
The maroon and white glamour side’s recruitment policy and financial deficiency is the main reason Wanderers are now a mid-table team according to former captain, coach and technical director Jerry ‘Mbazo’ Gamedze. ‘Mbazo’ is a Wanderers legend who joined the team as a 19-year old back in 1989 and went on to win countless trophies with the team while cementing a place in the senior national team Sihlangu.
When asked that with Wanderers struggling to bag trophies, as a former captain and coach where do you think the wheels came off- the former captain blasted the side recruitment policy, saying some of its registered players do not deserve to wear the famed maroon and white kit and that financial deficiency, which recently saw the hub giants bailed by Mbabane Highlanders boss Ally Kgomongwe to pay players’ salaries as the major undoing.
“My brother, when it comes to Wanderers I always shed a tear to see such a big brand losing its footing and playing second fiddle to the other great clubs like Highlanders and Swallows. A lot of factors are contributing to the fall of the once great Eswatini giant in the soccer field. We have lost it on our recruitment as players whom I feel do not make the cut to play for that club are now recruited. Power struggle is another factor. Financial deficiency is another factor.
Lack of leadership both in administration and in the playing ground is another factor,” Mbazo highlighted.