BY FORTUNE MBELE
ZIMBABWE Saints have stepped up efforts towards a return to the topflight league after a number of years in the wilderness.
The club leadership held its latest meeting on Monday as it plotted a return to the Premier Soccer League.
They are looking to start off by participating in the Zifa Southern Region Division One League.
All sport codes have been given the nod to resume by government, but under strict COVID-19 regulations.
Zimbabwe Saints launched their bid for a comeback in May, but everything was held up by COVID-19 control measures which saw government maintain a ban on lower league football before it was given the nod recently.
Board of trustees chairman Vincent Pamire yesterday confirmed the Monday meeting and said returning to the Premier Soccer League was the club’s main priority.
“We yesterday (Monday) met to brief each other on issues since football is resuming. We just wanted to find out from each of the departments in the Zimbabwe Saints set-up if we are ready to play football any time soon if it starts,” he said.
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“It is looking all good and bright and we are getting there. COVID-19 has disrupted things here and there, but we hope not this time around. Returning to the PSL is still our target from here and the thrust is to get good material in terms of players.”
Former Highlanders and Bulawayo City coach Amin Soma-Phiri has been appointed head coach.
Interim chairman of the Zimbabwe Saints executive committee is businessman Felix Dzumbunu.
During the launch of Zimbabwe Saints’ revival in May, Dzumbunu said: “We want to play football in the best places, whether it’s Rufaro, Mandava, and all that. Our mission is ‘you have got to walk first before you run’. Our wish is to be in Division One at least for a year. Next year or after one season, we really hope and we will fight that we be in the Premiership. This process is just starting now. There is a lot of work to be covered.
“We have started to put together a team that will be playing in Division One. Because of the challenges we are facing as a country and the world, there are a lot of challenges that are to do with the current crisis of COVID-19, so a lot of things had been put on hold and a lot of things are going a bit slow. But we are happy the pieces are coming together and it is our hope that we are going to get Zimbabwe Saints playing football again.”
Chauya Chikwata will face serious challenge in the Division One competition from Talen Vision, which was beaten to the title by Bulawayo City, who bounced back to the top league in 2019.
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