BY TERRY MADYAUTA
THE ZIFA Central Region Soccer League roars into life this weekend in what promises to be an exciting battle for promotion to the top-flight league this year.
Sheasham have already made a bold statement of their intentions to clinch the sole ticket into top-flight league next season, having acquired the bulk of former Nichrut players, when the Shurugwi side folded after being relegated from the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) last season.
On that premise, the Gweru-based side will start as favourites, although their pedigree is yet to be tested.
Their first assignment is away to Black Eagles and gaffer John Nyikadzino will be hoping to collect his first set of maximum points. Perennial campaigners Whawha will also seek to revitalise their PSL aspirations when they travel for a date with Ivan Hoe Mine in Kwekwe.
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services side has made it an open secret that they are targeting nothing less of the championship, having played bridesmaids for the last two seasons. There is also a similarly tough task for their neighbours, MSU FC who will play host to FC Platinum U-19.
Newbies Real BVM kickstart their Division One life with an away fixture at Blanket Mine, while their follow debutants Venue FC will travel for a date with Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium in Zvishavane.
ZRP Gweru and Kwekwe- based Dendairy will square off at Ascot, while Matabeleland South-based Filabusi United will take on Kwekwe United.
Beitbridge-based Dulibadzimu will host ZPC Munyati who are hoping to pick up their pieces after losing their coach Tendai Chikuni to Ngezi Platinum.
Vumbachikwe will endure a gruelling trip to Gokwe Nembudziya where they will take on Gokwe North FC.
Central Region chairman Stanley Chapeta told the NewsDay Sport that they are looking forward to improvement in the levels of competition.