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Charlton off-load Pritchard

Sport
ZIMBABWEAN-born Bradley Pritchard has been released by Charlton Athletic and becomes the latest local player playing abroad to be released ahead of the 2014/15 season.

ZIMBABWEAN-born Bradley Pritchard has been released by Charlton Athletic and becomes the latest local player playing abroad to be released ahead of the 2014/15 season.

Zimbabweans Abroad with Henry Mhara

The English Championship football side has announced that the 27-year old, along with eight other players, will leave the club following the expiration of their contracts.

Of the nine players released, Pritchard is among a list of four members of Charlton’s League One title-winning squad of 2011/12 who are leaving The Valley. The 2011/12 squad helped the Addicks to a record-breaking points total under former manager Chris Powell.

The Harare-born powerful midfielder was a very integral part of Charlton, playing every part of the team’s games in the 2012/13 season, which saw his profile rising so much that he attracted interests from English Premier League team Aston Villa and Reading.

However, a loss of form saw him making just 17 appearances last season, leading to his subsequent departure.

Despite playing in the Barclays Premier League second tier division, Pritchard was only called into the Warriors squad once during former coach Rahman Gumbo’s last reign with the team, but still couldn’t make the final 18.

As it became public that Pritchard had been released by Charlton, there was an outpour of compassion from his fans on social networks.

“Thank you Bradley Pritchard you have given us some good times at Cafc. I wish you all the best for the future,” posted Ricky Lambert on Pritchard’s Facebook page.

“Good luck fella where ever you end up playing your football. Thank you for all your effort you put into #cafc it is very much appreciated,” wrote Dean Peter Hill on Pritchard’s Twitter handle.

“All comes to an end, but you proved that you are a star with all your contribution. Thank you,” posted Garikai Hama on Facebook. Thomas Sweswe and Tinashe Nengomasha have also been released by South African Premiership side Bidvest Wits while Benjamin Mwaruwari has all but retired from football. Sweswe is reported to be angling a move to Chippa United while Nengomasha wants to join league champions Dynamos if he fails to find a club in South Africa.

Denver Mukamba signed a new contract with the club, but looks set to be loaned out with Bhasera the only Zimbabwean at Bidvest almost assured of staying for the new season.

Jimmy Jambo has also been released by Kaizer Chiefs, apparently to open up space for a foreign slot. Ironically, the slot could be filled by his close friend Ovidy Karuru who is reported to be heading for Naturena.

According to Soccer Laduma, Karuru, who was in Belgium last season, has been in Johannesburg in recent weeks and could join Kaizer Chiefs this week.

If Karuru joins Chiefs, he will join fellow Zimbabwean international Kingston Nkatha, Matthew Rusike and Willard Katsande while Knowledge Musona, who was at the club on loan from Germany side Hoffenheim, has returned to his Bundesliga side. Reports suggest that Chiefs wanted the striker on a permanent deal, but could not meet Hoffeinheim’s ₧700 000 demands for the player.

George Chigova and Milton Ncube started their new life at SuperSport United and Ajax Cape Town respectively yesterday when the two teams began their pre-season camp ahead of the new season.

Peter “Rio” Moyo was conspicuous by his absence at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday when his Highlanders side played Dynamos, with reports yesterday suggesting that he had left the country to join his new South African club Black Aces.

All this time, Highlanders had been made to believe that the talented midfielder would leave at a later stage as is the case with fellow midfielder Kudakwashe Mahachi who is on loan from Mamelodi Sundowns.

Highlanders also seem to have resigned on losing goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, who is believed to be heading for another South African Premiership side Chippa United. On Sunday against Dynamos, coach Kelvin Kaindu preferred third-choice goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni ahead of him as it became apparent that the goalkeeper was on his way out.