Sheasham test big guns

SHEASHAM gaffer John Nyikadzino

SHEASHAM gaffer John Nyikadzino says his club has deliberately targeted pre-season friendlies against Premier Soccer giants to test his players' ability to withstand pressure of playing before big crowds.

The Gweru-based side are set to host Highlanders this afternoon at Ascot stadium in another friendly match that is expected to be explosive.

The match follows two other friendlies played against Dynamos and Black Rhinos which were all played in Gweru, with Nyikadzino getting an opportunity to test his novices.

Nyikadzino said: "We are playing Highlanders on Saturday (tomorrow). We have played these big teams for a reason. I want to test the player’s ability to withstand pressure. It’s at this point that we have to help them adjust to the PSL expectations.

“However, we are not overlooking other aspects in terms of tactics and forming combinations. We take this opportunity to cement the team.

“I’m sure by the time we start the PSL season, everything shall be ready, our mental strength and our level of fitness,” Nyikadzino.

So far former Dynamos attacker Tanaka Chidhobha is the most notable high profile player in the team. The 23-year-old is likely to be their main man in attack in their maiden season.

Nyikadzino will hope to continue with a fine record having stirred the Construction Boys from the lower division without tasting defeat.

He retained 11 players from the team that won the promotion ticket from the Ruvimbo Assurance Central Region Soccer League.

Sheasham were promoted from the Central Region, while Hwange, Green Fuel and Simba Bhora won tickets from Southern, Eastern and Northern regions, respectively.

Nyikadzino returns to the topflight having previously coached Chapungu in the elite league.

They face a Highlanders side that has lost a number of players, while they have promoted some from their junior ranks.

Among those who have left are Adrian Silla, who was sold to Caps United, Nqobizitha Masuku now in Botswana and Muziwake Dhlamini.

Devine Mhindirira has been suspended after failing to report for training amid claims that he wants to force a move out as Caps United watches the developments with keen interest.

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