Hwange Football Club left the coal-mining town on Thursday for Triangle where they meet troubled Harare giants Dynamos in the quarter-finals of this year’s BancABC Sup8r Cup on Saturday at Gibbo Stadium.
Chipangano coach Tennant Chilumba said they left early for the sugar producing town to cover up the long distance and avoid fatigue. The team will cover close to 1 000km from Hwange to Chiredzi.
Chilumba spoke to NewsDay Sport on Thursday during a brief stopover for refuelling in Bulawayo on their way to Masvingo where they would put up for the night.
“We are looking at covering the distance (early) and avoid fatigue,” Chilumba said.
He said the team will hold two training sessions in Masvingo on Friday before leaving for Chiredzi on Saturday morning.
“We will have a session in Masvingo in the morning and afternoon, then proceed to Chiredzi on Saturday morning,” Chilumba said.
The Zambian national said preparations for the Sup8r quarter-final were on course and his boys would stay focused from the first whistle.
“I am taking a full squad with no injuries and the preparations are going on smoothly. There is a lot at stake here. We know Dynamos have been enjoying good form. The boys have to be focused from the first whistle until the final whistle. They are strong in midfield and we have worked on that. We are looking forward to the match,” Chilumba said.
The coach said he was in Chiredzi a fortnight ago to familiarise with the conditions and scout for talent and he was certain his charges would not be affected in playing in that town.
“I was in Chiredzi two weeks ago to have a look at the community and to look for talent. I watched Hippo Valley training. We have played at Rufaro and we play in front of big crowds in Hwange and I don’t think the boys will be affected by the atmosphere there,” Chilumba said.
Hwange beat Zimbabwe Saints 1-0 in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the Colliery recently.
They have a strong midfield in Zambian international Kennedy Kashema, Winston Mwango and Nkosana Siwela.
The Chipangano strikeforce has the experience of Gilbert Zulu and Tongai Mangwendere with David Boriwondo and Tonisani Sibelo at the back.
Impressive Timothy Sibanda will be between the goalposts for the coal miners.
Despite boardroom wrangles, the Glamour Boys have been on the roll of late, beating Absa Premiership champions Orlando Pirates 1-0 in South Africa to bring home R90 000 in a anti-xenophobia friendly challenge match.
On Wednesday, the Lloyd Mutasa-coached DeMbare beat Chicken 1-0 in a league match at Rufaro Stadium.