HWANGE have made a quick return to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) after clinching the Zifa Southern Region Soccer League title with a win over contenders Tsholotsho at the Colliery Stadium on Saturday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
They won the championship with two games to go through a solitary first-half goal by Ernest Gwitima to take them to an unassailable 66 points, with former top-flight league side Tsholotsho trailing by 11 points.
Going into the game, the coal miners, also known as Chipangano, needed just a point to clinch the title.
Coach Nation Dube presided over Hwange’s 20 wins from 28 matches, with six draws and two defeats.
Dube yesterday attributed winning the championship to hardwork.
“It was not easy, the technical team and the players put in a lot of hard work to get us where we are. We are back in the PSL and we are coming in not to just add the numbers, but to compete and stay. Hwange is an old and big team that belongs in the PSL. I demanded that the boys win every match. They were paid bonuses for every win, whether home or away, and nothing for a draw. That alone was the biggest motivator because a draw would not put food on the table,” Dube said.
Chipangano had kept veteran striker Gilbert Zulu, Gerald Ndlovu, Obert Moyo, Andrew Chuma, Creven Banda and goalkeeper Tymon Mvula after they were relegated.
Hwange also roped in former Highlanders captain Felix Chindungwe and ex-Chicken Inn midfielder Canaan Nkomo, among other players, with others coming from other Division One teams.
Hwange join the Joel Luphahla-coached TelOne, who won the Central Region Division One Soccer League and Manica Diamonds from the Eastern Region, who are coached by Luke Masomore.