Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
CHICKEN Inn are reportedly planning to raid Bulawayo Chiefs in a bid to strengthen their squad and put on an improved performance in the second half of the Castle Lager Premiership season.
The 2015 champions’ coach Joey Antipas said he is looking for a goalkeeper, defender, two attacking midfielders and a striker.
Chicken Inn will lose goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze to Baroka FC in the South African topflight, midfielder Innocent Mucheneka, who has been linked with a move to Maritzburg and Divine Lunga, who is on the radar of Kaizer Chiefs, Black Leopards and Golden Arrows.
Sources said Chicken Inn are after Bulawayo Chiefs’ central defender Last Sithole and playmaker Perfect Chikwende, who has been a marvel for the league debutants.
The sources said part of the deal will see Chicken Inn loaning Chiefs’ striker Adrian Banana, who helped Chiefs win promotion into the topflight. Banana has fallen down the order at the Gamecocks, with Antipas preferring Obidiah Tarumbwa and Obriel Chirinda.
“Chicken Inn are interested in Sithole and Chikwende. They have already made contact with Bulawayo Chiefs and it seems they are coming to some agreement. Sithole was given his clearance on Friday and now negotiations are being made for Chikwende,” said the source.
Chicken Inn, who are third on the league table with 30 points from 17 games, trail log leaders FC Platinum by 14 points and are eight points behind second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Antipas, whose side has scored 20 goals and conceded 12 goals, wants an improved performance in the second half of the season.
He confirmed that he has identified players to beef up his squad but declined to give names.
On the Bulawayo Chiefs’ duo of Sithole and Chikwende, Antipas said: “Chiefs have good players who are contracted and it will be disrespectful of me to talk about their players. The first half of the season wasn’t all that great. We were not consistent in our performance and that has to improve. We will be making additions to the squad and my focus is on getting a goalie, a defender, attacking midfielders and a striker so that we improve on our conversion.
“There are a couple of players that I’ve identified in Division One as well. There are also our players that we loaned out and have been monitoring their performances.”
Antipas has been a regular at Southern Region Division One games, scouting for talent.
The gaffer, known for his love for unheralded players from the lower leagues, is also reportedly interested in Talen Vision striker Ossie Miniru Sunday. The Vision striker has five goals from nine encounters.
Tinashe Mthimkhulu, a defender on loan at Tsholotsho from Chicken Inn, has also been in good form and could be recalled by Antipas.