Harare City sign Mhleli Sibanda

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CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League club Harare City has reportedly snapped up attacking midfielder Mhleli Sibanda as they seek to bolster their squad for the upcoming season.

HENRY MHARA,SPORTS REPORTER

A source said his addition to the squad could be in preparation for the possible departure of star man Silas Songani who has been linked to various teams inside and outside the country.

The Warriors winger has had trials with South African Absa Premiership side Maritzburg United in recent times and also missed the national team’s trip to South Africa for the African Nations Championships (Chan) as he was on trial in Denmark.

The source told NewsDay Sport that Sibanda, a former Quelaton and FC Platinum midfielder, has signed a three-year contract with the City Fathers and is the team’s first signing in the current transfer window.

“He signed last week and is our first signing this year. We are targeting at least four more players before the start of the season. The team is strong but there are few areas that need to be strengthened.

“We are also aware that some of our star players who have been out on trials might leave, so we are preparing for such an eventuality,” said the source.
“Our target for next season is to do better than what we did last year,” the source added.

Harare City Football Club chairman Lesley Gwindi could not be reached for comment as his phone went unanswered. City coach Bigboy Mawiwi said he could not comment as he was in a church service.

The ambitious Harare club signed 13 players at the beginning of last season, a s that helped the team to a third finish on the log table in their second season in the top flight.

Harare City went into the last day of the season on top of the log and needed just a win to be crowned champions, but they were held by Caps United, allowing second-placed Dynamos to sneak into the title because of a superior goal difference.

Sibanda, who turned out for FC Platinum last season, found himself clubless after being left out of the team’s squad that went for a pre-season training camp in Kariba.

The short-framed player rose to prominence after an exhilarating performance against Dynamos in 2012 Mbada Diamonds Cup first round match at Rufaro Stadium while still playing for Quelaton, prompting clubs like Caps United, Highlanders and FC Platinum to chase for his signature.

But it was the Zvishavane club who used their big financial muscle to elbow other clubs out of their way and snatched the highly rated midfielder last season.

However, he endured a torrid season at FC Platinum, failing to make it into the team’s first 11. In fact, he struggled to make it into the final 18.

Coach Lloyd Mutasa used him sparingly at the end of last season, but the player failed to convince the coach and he was shipped out.

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