Bulawayo Chiefs to unleash gem

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BY FORTUNE MBELE

BULAWAYO Chiefs are poised to unleash an unpolished gem in midfielder Mthokozisi Msebe as football returns to the country with the Premier Soccer League’s cluster competition set for next month.

Msebe (20), a product of Bantu Rovers, was captured last year by Bulawayo Chiefs from Bulawayo Province Division Two side Bantu Leopards.

However, all football activities were suspended last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will only resume next month.

Chiefs coach Thulani Sibanda said football enthusiasts in the country should watch out for the attacking midfielder.

“I have coached a number of players that have gone on to join big teams in the top league but there is one boy that is part of our squad. I am not sure though if he will make it for the upcoming competition. His name is Mthokozisi Msebe. He is one gem of a player. I recruited him from Bantu Leopards. Watch out for this player. He plays as an attacking linkman,” Sibanda said.

Msebe is a product of Mzilikazi High School in Bulawayo and also of the Copa Coca-Cola youth tournament wherein 2014 he played alongside Shadreck Nyahwa, a former Chiefs defensive midfielder who has since joined giants Dynamos.

Mzilikazi High School produced the legendary Warriors captain Peter Ndlovu, Benjamin Konjera, Vusumuzi Nyoni, Johannes Ngodzo and Mkhokheli Dube, among others.

Sibanda is credited for polishing players such as Perfect Chikwende, Nyahwa, Ishamel Wadi and brothers George and Moses Majika, among others, who left Chiefs to join top clubs in the local league.

Chikwende, formerly with FC Platinum, has since joined Tanzanian giants Simba SC.

Sibanda, a graduate of the National University of Science and Technology sports science and coaching programme, yesterday said despite 15 months of football inactivity, player fitness should not be an excuse going into next month’s competition.

“My veteran or older players are taking longer to get into gear but the young stock is doing okay. What is important is what methods you start with. Fitness is about speed, strength, endurance, coordination, and agility. We will make the best out of the given time. We can’t make it an excuse that the boys are not fit because everyone was not playing. The only competitive advantage that a team will have is the rate at which players adapt,” Sibanda said.

“What is important is what is it that you prescribe for your players and what you are planning for the team. Some players have been active in money games but that is a voluntary act but at training, it is what I prescribe that matters. With the little time at our disposal, we would have done our part.”

Of the squad that Chiefs had last year, they have only lost Nyahwa to Dynamos and have experienced players in Ben Nyahunzvi, Joe Nyanbinde, Charles Sibanda, Farau Matare and Kundishora Chakanyuka.

They also have Arthur Musiyiwa, a target of a number of big clubs, Malvin Mkolo and goalkeeper David Bizabani.

Chiefs will engage Highlanders, Chicken Inn, and Bulawayo City in a round-robin format in Group Two and the top team will clash in the semi-finals with the winners of Group One (CAPS United, Dynamos, Harare City, Herentals, Yadah, and ZPC Kariba), Group Three (Manica Diamonds and Tenax together with Black Rhinos and Cranborne Bullets) and Group Four (FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Triangle United and Whawha).

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