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Barbourfields, the new theatre of dreams

by Staff reporter
02 Jul 2023 at 07:41hrs | Views
IT is an abomination that might cause the likes of George Shaya, Gift "Ghetto" Mpariwa, Shacky Tauro and Joel "Jubilee" Shambo to turn in their graves.

But that is the reality on the ground.

Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo has become the temporary home for Harare giants Dynamos and CAPS United.

Years of neglect have left Harare venues Rufaro, Gwanzura and the National Sports Stadium obsolete, and unfit to host Premier Soccer League games.

The 60 000-seater National Sports Stadium, home to eight PSL sides in the opening 12 games of the 2023 Castle Lager season, was closed for renovations on June 6, forcing the affected clubs to scramble for alternative venues outside the capital.

Interestingly, both Dynamos and CAPS United chose Barbourfields as their temporary home. Consequently, "Emagumeni" has become the new "Theatre of Dreams" for the local Premiership as the venue is set to host blockbuster battles in the next three weeks.

The Battle of Cities clash between Highlanders and CAPS United opens the fiesta this afternoon, before BF hosts another epic encounter between Dynamos and defending champions FC Platinum next week.

Match Day 15 will be highlighted by another top clash between DeMbare and last season's runners-up Chicken Inn, also at "Emagumeni".

In fact, the City of Kings and Queens will be a sports hub as it is also hosting the International Cricket Council World Cup qualifiers.

Part of the sports fiesta involves today's Super Six clash between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka at Queens Sports Club.

What a moment for Bulawayo to promote local sports tourism!

But there is no doubt the clash between Bosso and Makepekepe at Barbourfields this afternoon will capture much of the attention.

It is a high-stakes battle between two of Zimbabwe's biggest teams and it does not matter that CAPS United are hosting this Battle of Zimbabwe clash at Barbourfields, the Harare side have been sounding bullish ahead of this encounter.

"These are not boys; they are men and this is their job.

"They are in a very good position to understand what they need to do when they go out there," CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe told the press last week.

Makepekepe have 17 points, five behind Bosso, going into Match Day 13.

They are winless in their last three outings and are desperate to recover from a 1-2 defeat against Cranborne Bullets at the National Sports Stadium just before the season took a break. In fact, CAPS United have one win in their last five league matches.

But, as usual, Chitembwe is in no hurry to press the panic button.
He is a veteran of the Premiership, having won the championship both as a player in 1996, 2004 and 2005 and as coach in 2016.

That was the last time CAPS United won the league title.

At least their fate is better than that of Highlanders, who last won the championship in 2006. However, there is renewed hope amongst the Bosso faithful that this year could be theirs, following an impressive start to the 2023 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

Bosso are yet to taste defeat in 12 matches, having managed five wins and seven draws.

They have the best defence in the league so far, after conceding three times.

However, their coach Brito still retains maximum respect for CAPS United.

"Of course, they will travel, and we hope fans come in their numbers," Brito said.

"CAPS United are one of the biggest teams. They assembled a side that clearly want the championship.

"They are big guys and want to play good football, open football that is tactical just like Dynamos, open football that people enjoy watching," he said.

Source - The Sunday News
More on: #Bosso, #Soccer