The chairman of the Player Agents’ Association of Zimbabwe, Omega Sibanda, has attributed inactivity in the mid-season 2011 Premier Soccer League transfer window period to lack of financial resources and engagement amongst stakeholders.
There has not been much player movement in the Southern Region and Sibanda said clubs were looking in the wrong places and not properly engaging with stakeholders, which has seen teams running the risk of recycling old players.
“Obviously it is to do with finance but let’s engage. Most clubs cannot afford to fork out signing-on fees and salaries for players’ upkeep. I feel there is need for various stakeholders to engage. We know signing-on fees are hefty following a trend that has been set by some clubs. We are saying there is a way, especially when the clubs engage with the players and agents. There is a failure by clubs to approach the situation,” Sibanda said.
Sibanda, a Bulawayo player agent himself, said it was disturbing that big clubs like Highlanders, Caps United and Dynamos had not reiforced their squads as the race for the 2011 PSL championship beckons.
“As an agent myself, I feel big clubs should have beefed up their squads by picking players from the lower divisions and not recycling players. If you look at the scenario big clubs like Highlanders did not beef up, Dynamos did not beef up. It is pointless especially in the region to import players from outside, who do not add value to the club. Free agents do not add value to the clubs and they actually do not inspire the juniors. There is fear of engaging academies and clubs from Divisions One and Two,” Sibanda said.
He said there was need for clubs to win games and lure sponsorship from the corporate world so as to get a wish-list of players.
“Clubs need not get loud if they get meagre sponsorship because it would repel other prospective sponsors who would think the club is covered. To lure sponsors clubs have to win games and thereby get a good wish-list of players. That strategic planning is not there among the clubs,” Sibanda said.
In the Southern Region, cash-strapped Highlanders, in dire need of strikers, has not been active on the transfer market saying they will be promoting players from their junior ranks.
Chicken Inn registered strikers, free agents Absa Premiership and Botswana’s be-Mobile returnees Evans Chikwaikwai and Tendai Ndoro. Struggling Shabanie Mine have reportedly signed former Highlanders and Zimbabwe Saints striker Simbarashe Gate.
Chairman Webster Chitonho said the club would be finalising on the players they are registering by late afternoon yesterday.
Zimbabwe Saints, who lost the bulk of their players at the end of the first half of the season, have registered Qondile Sibanda, Arnold Mushinga, Makhosi Ncube, Kevin Sibanda, Thomas Kombora, Munyaradzi Tongai and Dumisani Ndlovu.
Hwange have registered former players Obert Moyo and Malvern Longwe. They have also reportedly signed Simbarashe Manuella from the Central Region Division One. The coal miners have also said they will be recruiting from their juniors to beef up their squad.
Big money spenders and league pacesetters have FC Platinum, who went on a player buying spree at the beginning of the season have attracted two Malawians, Joel Chipofya and Chikondi Farook Likwemba, and Orlando Pirates outcast Zvenyika Makonese, but the three are yet to be registered.
Also at the platinum miners are former Caps United defender Itayi Gwandu, goalkeepers Maxwell Nyamupanedengu from Dynamos and Munyaradzi Diya who was released by Zimbabwe Saints.