Quelaton get sponsor

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Newly-promoted Castle Lager Premier Soccer League outfit, Quelaton have found a sponsor for their Premier Soccer League journey allaying speculation the club’s franchise could be up for grabs before the start of the season.

Speaking in an interview in Bulawayo yesterday, club owner Tawanda Ruzive, who did not reveal the name of the new sponsor, said they were finalising the paperwork.

“Everything is on course. We are putting pen to paper and the name of the sponsor will be made public as soon as everything is concluded,” said Ruzive.

There was widespread speculation the club’s franchise would go under the hammer with potential buyers said to be cash-rich, but highly-disorganised Zimbabwe Saints and Methembe Ndlovu’s Bantu Rovers.

However, Ruzive yesterday moved to assure his players, technical team and fans there would be no financial problems and changes on the bench as the club had confidence in them.

“We are keeping the bench and the bulk of the players who made us qualify. However, we will give them five games to assess their performance and see whether there is need for an addition to the bench.

“As for players, we are not going to buy many, but maybe three or so. Our hope hinges on players we already have,” Ruzive said.

Although Ruzive repeatedly assured players Quelaton was a Bulawayo team and would remain so, the rumour mill has it club directors wanted to sell the franchise.

There is also speculation the technical team will be joined by Farai Sibanda, who worked with present gaffer Thulani Sibanda at the Entumbane-based Division One side Cosmos a few years ago.

Quelaton won the sole ticket to the elite league after they prevailed in the Southern Region Division One League under the watchful eyes of Sibanda and his assistant Clement Chimimba.

The club got promoted ahead of Railstars Football Club who were breathing down their necks.

Quelaton will start their 2012 pre-season preparations on Wednesday next week at Mpopoma High School with the club holding trials.

They already have experienced players like Njabulo Ncube, Siza Dube and Patrick “Mboma” Mpofu whose contribution has been invaluable and can guarantee survival in the top-flight league.

The new team will be the third in Bulawayo after Highlanders and Chicken Inn following the relegation of Rovers in 2010 and Saints this season.

Chicken Inn have reported they would start their pre-season training next Tuesday with former Warriors and Highlanders striker Adam Ndlovu at the helm after replacing Philani Ncube.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Adamski, as Ndlovu is affectionately known from his playing days said: “The new season will start with a number of friendly games against local Premiership teams to gauge our strength.

“We have already identified some players that we need and we will have to jell them in through some friendly games.

“We have released a few players and we will try to replace them with some seasoned ones from the league.

“We will thus regroup as a team on the 3rd of January and for now the boys can have their break.”