FORMER Warriors striker and Chicken Inn head coach Adam “Adamski” Ndlovu has heaped praise on his team for coming third in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season and booking a slot in next year’s Caf Confederation Cup.
Chicken Inn lost 2-0 to relegated Gunners on Sunday, but finished third with 50 points from 30 games with a superior goal difference to fourth-placed Monomotapa, who beat Buffaloes 1-0, and finished on the same number of points.
“We have been able to finish third because the players showed a lot of commitment. The executive have also played a good role in motivating the players. The Family of God Church has also supported us because we go to church together with the whole technical staff and players before we play,” he said.
Last year, Chicken Inn finished eighth in their maiden appearance, but seemed to have risen to be a formidable side judging by the improvement this season.
Ndlovu had taken over from Philani “Beefy” Ncube towards the end of last season. “We have worked very hard since I took over as head coach. We are third because we concentrated on the job at hand. We have also tried to instill discipline in the team and my players know that I do not tolerate anyone who comes to training late,” he said.
Chicken Inn were the first team to hold Highlanders to their first home draw at Barbourfields Stadium (BF). They played two goalless draws with Highlanders and beat champions Dynamos 1-0 at BF.
“This has been a good season because it has been very competitive. The end of the league was very interesting and I congratulate Dynamos for winning the championship and Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu for getting the same number of points as Dynamos. But they were just unlucky,” he said.
Ndlovu said he was happy with the squad at his disposal although they would have to beef up with one or two players.
Ndlovu congratulated his captain Felix Chindungwe and Kudakwashe Mahachi for making it into the 11 Footballer of the Year finalists.
“The players are following in my footsteps because I have been on the calendar before! I think it is also good for me as a coach to have two players in the calendar. Well done to them,” he said.
The club is bankrolled by fast-foods chain Chicken Inn under Innscor Africa banner.
Veteran defender Hebert Dick, who has played in Poland, is rated as one of the most experienced players for Chicken Inn, while the likes of Evans Chikwaikwai and Tendai Ndoro have tasted international football before. Chindungwe is excited about the prospects of playing in Africa.
“I am happy that we are third and will represent Zimbabwe in the Confederation Cup. It will be the first time for most of the players to play in Africa, which will be good for us as we can also be noticed by scouts. We need to work very hard so that we do not bow out of the competition in the first stage. If there is unity between the executive, coaches and the team, we can progress further,” he said.
“It is an achievement for me and Mahachi (Kuda) to be selected as Footballer of the Year finalists. We are the first two players in Chicken Inn to make it — in only our second year in the league.”