PSL bursts into life


THE 2024 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season bursts into life this afternoon with high expectations of another stellar campaign filled with enthralling entertainment.

All 18 teams will kick off with a lot of enthusiasm, with no less than half of the teams expecting to fight for the title, while those with modest ambitions just want to preserve their place among the elite.

Today, champions Ngezi Platinum Stars will be in Bulawayo where they clash with new boys Arenel Movers at Luveve Stadium. FC Platinum host another newcomer Chegutu Pirates, while Caps United and Chicken lock horns at Bata stadium in Gweru, among other thrilling matches this afternoon.

Fans are braced for a memorable campaign with high expectations for their respective teams.

But one match fans are eagerly awaiting is the grand encounter between perennial arch-rivals Highlanders and Dynamos clashing at Barbourfields tomorrow.

It is difficult to take the eye off the Barbourfields battle, which Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu believes is one of the biggest football clashes in Africa which deserves live coverage on the continent’s television networks.

The Zambian national is marking the beginning of his second dance with Bosso and wants to see his side burst out of the blocks as he seeks a league title that eluded him in his first spell.

His side has lost a few players, but he is happy with the way they conducted their preparations.

“Our preparations so far are okay. We are looking forward to the game on Sunday. So far there are no major complaints that we can talk about. Everything seems to be going according to plan,” Kaindu said.

On Friday, Highlanders promoted Nigel Banda from their junior ranks. The 17-year-old scored 29 goals for the Highlanders Under-17 in the Bulawayo junior league.

Highlanders will be banking on the experience of goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, now fit after missing the better part of pre-season preparations.

Said Sibanda: “We are not only looking at Dynamos, but the other games that are coming.

He added: “The boys are ready and we will try our best on Sunday to make our fans and sponsors happy. We didn’t do well last season, but we urge our supporters to come in their numbers and rally behind us. This is just football and fans should come and enjoy. I am feeling okay now, thanks to the club and the coaches for assisting me with my injury. I am always ready. I am a seasoned player ... With the calibre of boys we have, I think they are ready. It should not be much of a job to motivate them.”

Dynamos’s Genesis Mangombe is equally optimistic of a good run.

The Glamour Boys are recovering from a 2-0 defeat to league champion Ngezi in the season’s opener in the final of the Castle Challenge Cup, but the coach believes they have come right.

“As usual, there is always a bad day in office; when the opponents are better than you, they can win. It was a cup game and we had not fully registered our players. This time everyone has been registered and we have stiff competition in camp. We expect the guys to perform very well and to win games also because what failed us because of our poor conversion rate. At this moment in time, we are very ready and I think the preparations have gone well. We expect to have a very good squad going to Bulawayo,” Mangombe said.


Today: Herentals College vs Zifa ERSL champions (postponed), Caps United vs Chicken Inn (Bata), Arenel Movers  vs Ngezi Platinum Stars (Luveve), FC Platinum vs Chegutu Pirates (Mandava), ZPC Kariba vs TelOne (Nyamhunga), Greenfuel vs Bulawayo Chiefs (Greenfuel Arena)

Sunday: Manica Diamonds vs Simba Bhora (Sakubva), Highlanders vs Dynamos (Barbourfields), Hwange vs Yadah (Colliery)

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