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Antipas ready for return

Coach Joey Antipas is back at the helm and will be assisted by Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi and club legend Guide Goddard.

CHICKEN Inn are ready to roll ahead of the 2024 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League big kick off.

The former champions embarked on a bonding trip to Matopos after a transfer business saw several new players coming in.

Coach Joey Antipas is back at the helm and will be assisted by Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi and club legend Guide Goddard.

The GameCocks parted ways with Prince Matore, who was head coach last year.

Antipas said they are almost ready for the start of the season and are finalising deals with new players. The exercise is expected to be completed by the end of the week.

“It was a bonding camp to make sure the players, the old and the new, get to meet and know each other better. It went on very well and it is important that players bond. We have a couple of new players and we are trying to conclude with them. It would be premature to start naming new players, but by the end of the week we would have completed the deals. We have some work to do but if the games are to start, we are almost ready,” Antipas said.

Chicken Inn will boast of the youngest player in the top league as they have registered a 14-year-old from Mpopoma High School in the top league.

The GameCocks have seen the return of former skipper Danny “Deco” Phiri, who was at Bulawayo Chiefs last year.

Deco captained the 2015 championship-winning Chicken Inn squad that was coached by Antipas before the former Warriors’ captain moved to South Africa where he played for Golden Arrows. He was forced out because of a nagging injury. Deco had a short stint in Tanzania before returning home.

Also back at Chicken is Innocent Mucheneka.

New faces at the club include Brighton Makopa and Brendon Rendo, formerly with Hwange, and Elshamar Farasi, who was on loan to Highlanders last year from Bulawayo City.

Joseph Thulani dumped Caps United to join the Bulawayo-based side together with goalkeeper Issah Ali, who was at Chiefs last season.

Defender Brandon Mpofu has joined after leaving Dynamos.

The club retained most of their key players including skipper Xolani Ndlovu, Michael Charamba and Malvin Hwata. Charamba and Hwata had a fruitful season last year, with the former earning a slot in the 2023 Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year 11 finalists.

Goalkeepers Donovan Bernard and Pride Zendera are still in as well as Vincent Moyo, Brian Muza, Genius Mutungamiri, George Majika, Itai Mabunu, Neilson Ketala and Dominic Jaricha.

Chicken Inn lost Richard Hachiro to champions Ngezi Platinum and Shepard Mhlanga to FC Platinum.

Clive Dzingai is no longer on Chicken Inn’s books.

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