Ricky Zililo and Allen Khumalo, Sports Reporters
UNITED Kingdom-based former Warriors’ goalkeeper Muzondiwa Mugadza held a two-hour long training session with Bulawayo City goalkeepers ahead of the team’s trip to Beitbridge for a Premiership match against Tsholotsho tomorrow.
City, who have gone for five Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches without a win, believe Mugadza’s brief session would motivate their goalkeepers.
“There are some games we feel goalkeepers could have done better to at least get us a point or even win us a match. Please, note that I’m not blaming the goalkeepers for our unfortunate run, but I felt that since Mugadza is in the country, why not tap into his skill. His presence will psychologically boost the goalkeepers,” said City head coach Mandla Mpofu.
Mugadza and City’s goalkeepers’ trainer Reginald Buhali took the three shot stoppers Liberty Chirava, Ashford Katsande and Aaron Ngwenya for two-hour session before the team’s main training session at Barbourfields Stadium.
Lazy Mzo as Mugadza, the former Zimbabwe Saints and AmaZulu goalkeeper is affectionately known, said: “I’m just here to serve football and I’m happy to assist whichever team asks me to during my break. I’m here for a couple of days to visit my father who is not feeling well and when the Bulawayo City guys asked me to mentor their goalkeepers I agreed. Hopefully, the drills we had and the chats will help these lads.” City will be hoping to get it right in Beitbridge tomorrow and add onto Tsholotsho’s woes.
The five-match winless streak for City has seen the club, which started the season on a promising note, sliding down the league table to 12th with eight points.
Last week, City lost 0-1 to army side Black Rhinos. However, Mpofu said his charges are geared up for a positive result against Tsholotsho.
“Look, Tsholotsho are not easy opponents and the fact that they have not won a game this season makes them dangerous. We are also dangerous in our own way as we want to stop the losing streak. Obviously as a team which started well, I doubt very much that we can be bad overnight, hence the need to rise to the task,” said Mpofu.
Before losing to Rhinos, City had lost consecutive matches to ZPC Kariba (2-0) and Triangle United (2-1). They also played draws against Harare City and FC Platinum.
Veteran forward Mkhokheli Dube, seasoned utility players Zephaniah Ngodzo and Douglas Sibanda, midfielders Sipho Ndlovu, Eddie Nkhulungo and Innocent Kutsanzira should lead City’s quest for maximum points tomorrow.
Tsholotsho would be hoping to register their first win of the season and will look to ex-Highlanders’ captain Felix Chindungwe, Canaan Nkomo, Mustafa Ponyera, Thomas Chimenya and Nixon Gama to achieve that feat.
Tsholotsho coach, Farai Tawachera, said morale was high despite falling 0-2 to ZPC Kariba last week.
“The guys have been preparing well and we are ready for Bulawayo City. We have tried talking to the boys following last week’s defeat to ZPC Kariba and focus is now on our next match. It won’t be an easy task facing Bulawayo City because they also want to win, so I anticipate the match to be a tightly contested one. Of course, the going has been tough, but we are still a work in progress and soon we will get there,” said Tawachera.
Tawachera said he is going to introduce two players whose paper work has just been finalised.
“We might unveil one or two players whose paperwork has been finalised in Saturday’s squad and we hope they will add value in the team. The supporters have been good to us, it’s just that we have disappointed them by failing to get maximum points. We really appreciate that and we are working very hard to make them proud of us. As I have said, we are still work in progress, we will soon get there,” Tawachera said.
Tomorrow: Chapungu v Harare City (Ascot, SuperSport, 1PM), Tsholotsho v Bulawayo City (Beitbridge), Bantu Rovers v Highlanders (Barbourfields), FC Platinum v Yadah FC (Maglas)
Sunday: Ngezi Platinum Stars v ZPC Kariba (Baobab, SuperSport, 1PM), Chicken Inn v Caps United (Luveve), Dynamos v Shabanie Mine (National Sports Stadium), Triangle United v How Mine (Gibbbo), Black Rhinos v Hwange (Morris Depot).