PREMIERSHIP returnees Chapungu head coach John Nyikadzino is not intimidated by the prospect of meeting the top-flight football league’s big boys in their opening matches.
In their first five encounters Waru Waru, as Chapungu are fondly referred to by their fans, host Bulawayo giants Highlanders, Zimbabwe’s representatives in the Caf Confederations Cup How Mine and champions Dynamos.
Waru Waru will play all the traditional giants at their home ground in the first half of the season with Caps United coming to Gweru in week 10, Harare City week 12 and FC Platinum week 14.
But Nyikadzino is taking the situation as a prospect to relish and is ready to confront their more fancied opponents.
“I am very happy that we will play them early in the season and that they will be coming to our home ground.
“These are the teams in the Premier League and we have been preparing to face any opponent in the league so we are more than ready to face them.
“In the first few matches into the league there will be no pressure on anyone, so we have to capitalise on that.
“The boys here have been motivated by the pre-season matches we have played and performed very well against these big teams,” said Nyikadzino.
In pre-season matches Waru Waru have proved that they can compete in the country’s top-flight league with some impressive results, humbling Highlanders 2-1 in the C G Msipa Charity semi-final, mauling How Mine 5-1 in a friendly match, beating Harare City 1-0 and drawing 1-1 with Dynamos.
Chapungu came into the Premiership after winning the Central Soccer League, but the league has a dubious honour with only one of its champions, FC Platinum, having managed to avoid relegation in their maiden season since its inception in 2010.
The platinum miners challenged for the league’s ultimate prize in their maiden season only to lose to Dynamos on the last day.
But Nyikadzino is not reading much into that dismal record and insists they are in the top flight to stay.
“That will not happen to us. In fact, it has nothing to do with us because we are different,” he concluded.