PSL preview no10: Gamecocks ready for challenge

BULAWAYO - Chicken Inn chairperson Lifa Ncube believes the Gamecocks will lift the Castle Premiership title this season.

The Innscor sponsored outfit were touted as one of the championship favourites last season but flattered only to deceive and finished in position six.

Ncube is however, confident that this season the team will realise its potential.

“We have brought in a number of experienced players and we will try and blend experience and youth and obviously we want to finish higher than last year,” Ncube said.

“Last season our squad lacked depth and we had to at times play our players off position but this season we have signed wisely and have enough cover for all positions.

The Gamecocks have brought in former Gunners, Dynamos and South African Premiership outfit AmaZulu midfielder Ramson Zhuwao, talented former Bulawayo Chiefs youngsters George Majika and Toto Banda.

The Bulawayo side have also roped in former Motor Action players Passmore Bernard and Ishmael Lawe and ex-Black Mambas defender Ben Nyahunzvi.

They have also signed former Monomotapa utility player Morgen Mungombe, former Sparrows keeper Bheki Ncube and the former Highlanders duo of Graham Ncube and Bhekimpilo Ncube.

The Gamecocks lost a number of the influential players that carried the team in the last couple of seasons with top scorer Tendai Ndoro now plying his trade at South African Absa Premiership side Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Star midfielder Kuda Mahachi is now at city rivals Highlanders albeit on a temporary basis as he is now a Mamelodi Sundowns player.

Seasoned goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni and veteran defender and team captain Felex Chindungwe hve also joined Bosso while another experienced defender Zephania Ngodzo is now at PSL returnees Bantu Rovers.

Quizzed on why his team signed a number of players that turned out for relegated outfits last season Ncube said the fact that some of the players they brought in were with relegated teams does not necessarily mean that they are not good footballers.

“We have had players like Kuda Mahachi and Danny Phiri who were relegated with Bantu Rovers but they went on to flourish with us and I think it is because of the enabling environment at our club,” Ncube said.

Some of the youngsters that Chicken Inn will be counting on to blossom this season include young defender Lawrence Mhlanga who has been bubbling under for the last couple of years.

Last season Mhlanga caught the attention of a number of top flight teams after starring for relegated Monomotapa.

Mhlanga’s boyhood club Highlanders were reportedly after the player’s services but the Gamecocks managed to hold on to the promising young defender.

Former Bulawayo Chiefs talented youngsters Banda and Majika are also expected to shine after impressing in Chiefs’ colours when leading the side to glory in the Southern Region First Division.

The two youngsters have contrasting styles with Banda a speed merchant while Majika is a dribbling wizard who has been compared to former Highlanders, Eagles and national team dribbling wizard Maximillion Boy Ndlovu.

A lot is expected of former United States based striker Mkhokheli Dube, who shone like a beacon in the final stages of last season after being reinstated back into the team by new coach Joey Antipas.

Another veteran who will be expected to give guidance to the less experienced players is the evergreen Clemence Matawu.

The former Soccer Star of the year was one of the leading lights in Chicken Inn’s campaign last season.

This season also gives coach Joey Antipas the platform to start on a clean slate after he was brought in to replace Mandla Mpofu towards the end of last season.

By the time Antipas, who won the championship with Motor Action in 2010, arrived at the club, the gamecocks were already off the pace in terms of fighting for the title.

This time around Antipas has been given an opportunity to build a squad according to his desires unlike last season when he had to stop the club’s freefall under Mpofu.

Looking at the signing, the former Warriors assistant coach, has brought to the club, they look like potential dark horses for the title.

Last season’s position: 6

Daily News predicted 2014 position: 3

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.