Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Premier Soccer League registration deadline closes today, with all 18 teams expected to forward their 2017 squads.
Kudzai Bare, the league’s communications officer, said the registration deadline is, however, for administrative purposes so that teams can get players’ licences in time.
She said the clubs will be allowed to alter their squads after today’s deadline until the transfer-window closes at the end of March.
“Teams should submit their squads to our offices tomorrow so that we start processing their licences. Please note that this is a players’ registration that was agreed on long back so that should there be developments that require teams to play even next week, teams are able to field registered players,” said Bare.
“Another reason for this deadline is to allow verification of players’ data so that if there are queries they are addressed before the start of the league. And remember, we have more teams this year meaning that the workload is more than it was last year,” she said.
She allayed fears that their registration deadline would interfere with the new Fifa system of player registration that Zifa has adopted with immediate effect.
The new Fifa system known as “Connect” seeks to eliminate the hassle of teams travelling to Harare for registration with all their documents.
The new system will see Zifa’s provincial and regional officers and some clubs’ administrators going for a training workshop in Harare on a date to be announced.
“We are aware that there is a new registration system that will be used, but still, data has to be fed and those that will use the system need time to familiarise themselves. For those reasons, we need to have all the paperwork in time to facilitate smooth registration,” said Bare.
League champions Caps United, who are participating in the Caf Champions League, as well as the country’s representatives in the Caf Confederations Cup Ngezi Platinum Stars are expected to be among the early birds in submitting their lists as they have somehow already finalised their squads.
Caps United and Ngezi Platinum Stars had an early start to their season as they prepared for Caf club competitions.
Another side expected to send their registration papers early is FC Platinum, which had a two-week long pre-season camp in South Africa where they played a training match against Caf Champions League hold Mamelodi Sundowns.
The platinum miners are close to finalising their squad, having retained the bulk of their 2016 squad, with new additions being the quartet of Bret Amidu, Gift Mbweti, Talent Chawapiwa and Agrippa Murimba.
FC Platinum are said to be looking for a central defender and a striker to complete their 2017 squad.
They have shown interest in national team defender Lawrence Mhlanga, who signed a contract with them a few weeks back, after allegedly misrepresenting facts claiming to be a free agent when he has a running contract with Chicken Inn.
Mhlanga is reportedly disputing that he is contracted to Chicken Inn.
Bulawayo giants Highlanders are unlikely to have any glitches with meeting the deadline as they have returned the core of their 2016 squad.
Bosso only released skipper Felix Chindungwe, Njabulo Nyoni and Julius Daudi and have since roped in striker Rodrick Mutuma.
Highlanders’ coach Erol Akbay told Chronicle Sport that he wants to add another striker to complete his 2017 squad.
Former champions Chicken Inn have added ex-Mutare City striker Kudakwashe Gurure and defensive midfielder Innocent Muchaneka from Hwange to their squad.
Ex-Highlanders and national team midfielder Peter Rio Moyo headlines a list of new players roped in by How Mine. The gold miners have been quietly doing their transfer dealings, with coach Kelvin Kaindu saying their focus is on giving youngsters an opportunity to shine as they build a team for the future.