Chisumbanje-based side Green Fuel FC were promoted to the Premier Soccer League for the first time in their history after winning the Eastern Region Soccer League championship title, beating Surrey 5-0 at the Green Fuel Sports Arena on Saturday.
Saturday’s victory took Green Fuel’s tally to an unassailable 66 points, 12 points clear of second-placed Mutare City Rovers with only four games remaining in the campaign.
Former Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa, who guided Green Fuel, who are popularly known as the Ethanol Boys, to their maiden promotion to the Premier Soccer League in his first season at the club was overjoyed at the prospect of returning to topflight football.
It’s now a hat-trick of Eastern Region Division One Championships for Mutasa, who has previously led Eastern Lions and Kiglon to the top tier of Zimbabwean football.
“I am very happy to be returning to the Premier League after a long time. I am happy for the youngsters; they really did put a good shift,” an ecstatic Mutasa told reporters after his team’s big win on Saturday.
“It feels great. I really tasted my PSL football playing here in Manicaland for Tanganda and now I have helped another team from this region.
“I did it before with Kiglon and Eastern Lions, and it is now Green Fuel … I can only say glory be to God,” said a teary Mutasa.
The highly ambitious Green Fuel side who have high hopes of making a big impact on the domestic football scene are the second team after Gweru-based Sheasham from the Central Region Soccer League to gain promotion into the PSL.
Simba Bhora from Shamva are set to win the Northern Region Soccer League title while Hwange are primed to win the Southern Region.
However it is the promotion of Green Fuel which is expected to add excitement to Zimbabwean football as they are the first team from Chisumbanje to be promoted to the PSL.
The club are sponsored by the leading ethanol producer Green Fuel (Pvt) Ltd, whose ethanol plant, which is located in Chisumbanje, about 464 kilometres from the capital Harare, is the biggest of its kind on the African continent.
The company which produces ethanol, which the country uses in blending petrol, has been investing in the development of sports in the community of Chisumbanje.
In addition to sponsoring the football club, Green Fuel also sponsors a netball team, Green Fuel Angels and other sports namely volleyball and athletics while plans are also at an advanced stage to introduce a basketball side which competes nationally.
Green Fuel FC’s sporting model mirrors that of other top club’s such as continental heavyweights Al Ahly, who apart from football, have 15 different sports such as basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, etc.
Green Fuel are also investing in the development of the Green Fuel Sports Arena, a modern designed stadium that after its completion will be able to accommodate all sporting activities in the area.
The company’s passion for sports is inspired by its managing director Conrad Rautenbach, the renowned Zimbabwean motor racing driver, who has competed in major events such as the Dakar Rally and the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Rautenbach competed in the WRC for the Citroën Junior Team before going on to win the African Rally Championship twice, in 2007 and 2011.