BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Chapungu coach Moses Chunga (pictured) has declared that his team will bounce back into the topflight league after their last hope of staying in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) were dashed following Herentals’ acquittal in a match-fixing case last week.
Had a PSL disciplinary committee ruling, which had docked Herentals three points as well as fining the Harare-based side, stood, Chapungu would have stayed on in the top division.
The decision by the Zifa appeals committee to clear Herentals, swept away Chapungu’s hopes.
Nevertheless, Chunga, who was recently appointed to the helm of Chapungu, is not deterred by the prospect of coaching a second-tier side and is looking forward to leading his team to an instant return to the big league.
The start of the 2020 campaign, though, is in doubt due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chunga has been silently piecing together what he described as a formidable side that can clinch a PSL berth this season.
“I am ready to play in any situation because that is the situation here and we are mentally preparing for this season,” he said.
“Of course, we had our hopes, but we missed out and we can’t lament. What is left is for us to restart the formula and return to the highest level of football in Zimbabwe.
“I am confident that the squad we have assembled is strong enough to do the job. It will be tough, but we want to return quickly,” he said.
Chunga is revered for turning minnows into formidable forces as well as saving teams from relegation.
He confronts a different challenge altogether, having had success in the top-flight where he won silverware at Gunners and Dynamos.
He assembled the popular Dynamos Kidznet in 2002 which captivated the football faithful with their displays and winning trophies.
It remains to be seen how he will fare in the Central Region Division One where he will come up against strong sides such as TelOne coached by Rahman Gumbo, Sheasham under the tutelage of John Nyikadzino as well as MSU coached by Luke Petros, among others.
Chapungu have loaned out some of their top players that include goalkeeper Talbert Shumba, who is at Triangle, while speedster Ian Nyoni will spend a season at Caps United.
The Air Force of Zimbabwe side lost Denver Mukamba to Ngezi Platinum Stars, where he linked up with Rodwell Dhlakama, who had signed him to Chapungu.
They, however, retained the core of their squad and they will fancy their chances of a quick return to the top-flight considering the experience they have in their ranks.