BY FORTUNE MBELE
HWANGE FC will include new faces in their squad on their return to the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL), with coach Nation Dube set to present his squad to the club leadership today.
Having clinched the Zifa Southern Region Soccer League title last year, the coalminers return to the PSL following their relegation in 2017.
Dube said he had almost lost half of the players that got the side promoted back to the PSL and had replaced them with unknown players he recruited from schools around the coalmining town to combine with others who remained from last year.
Chipangano have re-called Nomore Chinyerere from Division One side ZPC Hwange into the squad that will also include Gerald Ngulube as well as the unheralded duo of Antony Nyoni and Freddy Kamwinga, recruited from the Hwange environs.
“We are working hard in our preparations so that we will stand out to be counted and not be pushovers in our return to the premier league. By tomorrow (today), I am certain that I will be presenting my final squad of 30 players to the office,” Dube said.
“I will be having the squad of 25 players and five to be registered under the developmental quota. It has not been an easy process, dealing with virtually unknown boys, who have impressed me, but have been lacking on fitness and I have asked the office to give me time.”
He said he hoped the young players will develop in the top-flight league.
“We don’t have any big names in our squad. It is my hope that these young boys that we have been working on will mature quickly. Most of them will be new to the PSL, but we want to keep them for continuity,” Dube said.
Some players from last year’s squad include veteran Gilbert Zulu, who was the top goal scorer in the Southern Region Division One Soccer League, Obert Moyo, Collen Muleya, Craven Banda, Justine Kaunda, Wilfred Munorwei and Melvin Mekiwa.
They were joined at Hwange by former Highlanders’ skipper Felix Chindungwe and ex-Chicken Inn midfielder Canaan Nkomo.
Other players still in Hwange’s books are Crispen Dickson, Shepherd Gadzikwa, Taimon Mvula, Crybert Muvuti, Tendai Mate, Andrew Chuma and Morestuff Ncube.
Oscra Lungu, Collen Phiri, Elvis Meleka, Admire Banda and Morebrain Joseph asked to be cleared.
Dube has been assisted by Brian Njovu and Never Munkuli in assembling the squad.
The coalminers have announced an executive committee led by chairman Butholezwe Dube, vice-chairman Innocent Tshuma, treasurer Lovemore Dube and committee members Ken Sambo, Chabuka Mwale and David Phiri.