CHICKEN INN striker Mkhokheli Dube has been cleared by the South African Football Association (Safa) after signing a one-year deal with the fast-foods outlet team following his departure from Super Diski side AmaZulu.
Dube could be playing his first game for the GameCox when they take on Premiership newcomers Triangle at home, before engaging champions Dynamos in Harare in their second league encounter.
Club chairman Lifa Ncube yesterday confirmed they had received the international transfer clearance from Safa for the former Highlanders striker, who spent much of his career with US Major League Soccer side New England Revolution before joining Chicago Fire and then AmaZulu last year.
“We secured the clearance for Mkhokheli last Monday. We had actually hoped to get it before the NetOne Charity Shield in Zvishavane, but because of technical hitches, that was not to be. But it is now a done deal and what is left is to get his local player’s licence. Our toughest match of the season could be the match against Triangle, but after that we will know where we are,” Ncube said.
Chicken Inn, under head coach Mandla Mpofu, are buoyant following the side bagging the NetOne Charity Shield and walking away with $60 000 after beating Caps United 3-2 in the final at Mandava Stadium.
After hosting Triangle in Bulawayo, Chicken Inn will head to Harare for what could be their litmus test this year, when they take on DeMbare.
If history is anything to go by, the game against Dynamos will be most interesting for the GameCox who have not lost a second game since coming into the league — playing away and winning with identical 2-0 margins.
In 2011, in their maiden season, they beat Shabanie Mine 2-0 at Maglas Stadium and last year they beat Caps United 2-0 at Gwanzura Stadium in April, in a match that was abandoned after the Green Machine fans rained missiles onto the pitch.
Lenience Mpofu and Evans Chikwaikwai scored in that match and the men to watch this year will be Dube, Tendai Ndoro, Tendai Mukambi, Marshal Marima and Thomas Chimenya.
Chicken Inn have brought in five new players this year that include Dube, defenders Zephania Ngodzo and Tonisani Sibelo and midfielders Brian Juru and Richard Jongwe.
They are, however, yet to secure clearance for Sibelo from Hwange, whose contract with the coal miners ends on March 31, a few days after the transfer window closes.