Hwange start pre-season training

Bongani Mafu

PREMIER Soccer League (PSL) returnees Hwange will start their pre-season training tomorrow at the Colliery Stadium where head coach Bongani Mafu reunites with his players.

Chipangano won the 2022 Zifa Southern Region Division One League to earn a ticket back to the top league from which they were demoted in 2019.

Club administrator Khumbulani Mbano yesterday confirmed the coal miners get into action this week and is not ruling out new players joining the club although they are happy with the squad that got them elevated back to the PSL.

“I would say our preparations have already started for the PSL, but on January 5 (tomorrow) we will be seeing all the players and the coaches are meeting tomorrow (today) to map the way forward. Of course, we are happy with the squad that got us promoted to the Premier Soccer League. As Hwange, we are a project in progress. We are building and we seek improvement, so we are not ruling out new players coming on board although we are happy with the squad that participated in Division One last year. There will be new players coming in,” Mbano said.

Hwange’s squad last year had premiership-experienced players in former Highlanders’ skipper Felix Chindungwe, ex-Chicken Inn midfielder Canaan Nkomo and goalkeeper Nedrick Madeya, who has tried his luck at Highlanders and Bulawayo City.

They also have in their squad Shepard Gadzikwa and James Chivasa and Ernest Gwitima, who also have top league experience.

Other players of note at Chipangano include Kelly Shiyandindi who scored 14 goals, helping the side to clinch the Division One title, Marceline Mlilo and Brian Mlotshwa.

Mafu was at the helm at Hwange last year before joining Ngezi Platinum Stars in the PSL as an assistant to Warriors’ legend Benjani Mwaruwari.

They were both fired at the platinum miners following a string of poor results, but Hwange have re-engaged the former Highlanders coach to steer their ship in the top league.

Mafu will be assisted in the PSL by Try Ncube, who took over when he left for Ngezi, with Edmore “MaMkhwebu” Sibanda as the goalkeeper’s coach and Obert “Cobra” Moyo as physical trainer.

Hwange Colliery Company Limited has made a financial commitment to the football club, with club president and company managing director Blake Mhatiwa saying: “Be our ambassadors for the HCCL brand and we will finance you until we sail through and hopefully someday win the premier league. That is exactly where I want to take Chipangano in my tenure.”

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