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MBABANE – Every dark cloud has a silver lining.

This idiom is true for fallen hub giants Manzini Wanderers, who have survived one of their worst seasons in local football, fighting relegation right through to the 24th match of the season and endured unpaid salaries to date. However, all these troubles that came with the lack of cash to pay salaries and run the club without worries have not deterred the men and women in charge of the club. The team is led by Lawyer Bongani ‘Bhanyaza’ Mdluli, Diana Johnson, Patrick ‘Berger’ Nxumalo and Lucky ‘Majayivane’ Dlamini among others. They sacrificed their time and money to keep the club alive and in the top flight against all odds, spending close to E300 000 when there was no director to assist financially. It has been announced that the team will next Friday have its end-of-year gala dinner at The George Hotel in Manzini. The maroon and white side’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Diana Johnson, also known as Girlie confirmed the latest.


“Yes, we are having an event next Friday for our players, to show our appreciation for the effort they have put despite the challenges that were faced by the team. We want to thank them for not giving up on such trying times. We will have few awards for some players. “Also, the event is meant to thank all stakeholders of the team for the support throughout the season. We didn’t have a good season, but we are very much sure that in the coming one, we are turning the tables,” she said.

The well known CEO also reassured the Wanderers family that Nyanga ‘Crooks’ Hlophe, who helped them cheat the axe after they brought him in late, was still their coach even for next season. Johnson said preparations for the upcoming season were already underway, to the point that the coach had submitted his wish-list in terms of players to be signed. She also said the dinner was open to supporters and members of the public at E300 per head.  Wanderers currently have 15 players out of contract, which makes them free agents and vulnerable to rival sides.