HOW MINE have come up with a relatively strong squad for the 2014 Orange Caf Confederation Cup after roping in Buffaloes’ Wonder Sithole, Caps United and Dynamos defenders George Magariro and Morris Kadzola.
REPORT BY FORTUNE MBELE
The ambitious gold miners, hoping to string surprises in their maiden appearance in the African Safari, coming from Division One, have made 12 acquisitions for the continental showcase and are even looking beyond the competition.
They kick-start their preparations on Monday for a home first leg date against Chuoni FC of Zanzibar in the preliminary round of the competition next month at Barbourfields Stadium.
Among the new players that have been brought on board to the Metallon Gold-sponsored outfit are Monomotapa’s Kudakwashe Musharu, Harare City’s Tendai Ngulube, Triangle’s Courage Denias and Nicholas Alifandika from relegated Black Mambas.
Also drafted into the 29-member squad are young Aces Academy goalkeeper Donovan Benard, Caps United’s Marvel Samaneka, Gunners’ James Chitereki, Black Rhinos’ Blessing Sande and Edmore Muzanenhamo from Zifa Southern Region Division One side Ntabazinduna Prison.
How Mine head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube yesterday said he was confident in the squad that he had assembled.
“We start our preparations for the Confederation Cup on Monday at Luveve Stadium. We are not a surprise package, but we are going there to compete. Anything can happen. In football there are three results, you win, lose or you draw.
“We are playing an unknown team in the preliminary round. I don’t know the team and it will be a tricky assignment. We will have to do our homework and win at home because we don’t know what will be in store for us in Zanzibar,” Beefy said.
How Mine, giant killers in the 2013 Castle Lager Premier Soccer season after felling the country’s top three clubs, Highlanders (twice in the league), Dynamos (once in the league and the Mbada Diamonds Cup quarter-final) and Caps United in the Mbada semi-finals, look set to be yet a more formidable side in the 2014 season.
Beefy said the squad that he had named would compete in the local league while skipper Herbert Dick, who makes his last appearance in the Confederation Cup, becomes the club’s manager after he hangs his boots.
“I need Dick for his experience in the Confederation Cup and after that he retires and 95 percent chances are he will become the manager.
“We are yet to get three players from Aces Academy to fill in the juniors’ quota and two locals that are yet to be identified,” Beefy said.
How Mine retained goalkeepers Ephraim Mazarura and Notice Nonjabulo Dube, right back Brighton Dube, Terrence Majo, Dick, Nyasha Mukumbi, Gilbert Banda and Nelson Tachi.
Also retained is midfielder Menard Mupera, who has also been reportedly considering retiring, Xolisani Moyo, Warren Dube, Timothy January, Thembani “Smaller” Masuku, Donald Chiringa, Eddie Nkulungo, Simba Sithole and Qinani “Chroma” Sibanda.
Notable players that have been shown the door are Khumbulani Banda, Simon Njeleza, Nqobile Mpala and Arnold Ndiweni-all former Highlanders players.
Goalkeepers: E Mazarura, N Dube, D Bernard
Defenders: B Dube, M Kadzola, T Majo, J Chitereki, H Dick, G Magariro, N Mukumbi, B Sande, G Banda, N Tachi
Midfielders: T Ngulube, M Mupera, X Moyo, W Dube, M Samaneka, T January, W Sithole, N Alifandika, T Masuku, D Chiringa, E Muzanenhamo, E Nkulungo
Strikers: S Sithole, Q Sibanda, C Denias, K Musharu