Old Miltonians (OMs) coach Vusumuzi Ndebele says he is gunning for victory when they host Old Hararians in their first National Rugby League match at Hartsfield Rugby Grounds tomorrow.
The coach said he had confidence in the rookies that make up his team after having lost most players to new club Matabeleland Warriors.
Ndebele said he had 10 rookies in his squad with only five senior players remaining who include captain George Savada, a former Sables player.
“We are definitely gunning for victory with this young squad that we have. We have young players in the team, with an average age of 21. We have been building a team during the off-season. We are ready for the league. We might be limited in terms of experience, but we are great on quality.
We have assembled a youthful and talented squad that is raring to go and we are not going to be pushed around. We are going to cause major upsets in the league and we are starting from Saturday (tomorrow).”
Of note among the rookies in the OMs squad are hooker Swandile Lupuwana who was at Churchill High School in Harare last year and flanks Ezekiel Ncube and Tawanda Mhora who played for Milton High School last year.
Among the loyal senior players are Jason Mackey and Hardlife Masunda. OMs lost to Old Hararians in the capital last year, but won at home before losing once more in Harare for the third and fourth place.
Old Georgians won last year’s league with Harare Sports Club coming second, Old Hararians third and OMs in fourth place.
Other Bulawayo teams Western Panthers are off Harare where they date Airforce, while the Matabeleland Warriors will be in the Midlands where they clash with Gweru Sports Club (GSC).
GSC will be playing their first top-flight game since 2004.
Coach Zwelonke Mloiswa said: “The team is ready to play and we are going to claim the scalp of many teams. Our guys have been playing together for the past three years so we have great combinations and good understanding of each other. We are also in good shape in terms of fitness, tactics and strength.”
GSC have in their fold Zimbabwe Sevens wing Kelvin Magunje as well as Charles Gwanzura and flank Willboy Banda who have been trialists with Cheetahs.
They are also banking on the experience of Joseph Mudzikwa who is in the Goshawks team.