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'Highlanders will be ready for Dembare'

by Staff reporter
20 Feb 2024 at 05:04hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS face Dynamos in a rare league opening encounter in the first week of March and assistant coach Try Ncube is confident his charges will be ready for the big game.

Ncube and former Warriors striker Agent Sawu were recently appointed as assistant coaches to Zambian Kelvin Kaindu who only received his work permit last Friday.

In his absence, Ncube and Sawu have been taking charge of the team's pre-season training.

It was no surprise that Ncube was barking instructions on the touchline when Bosso played against Bulawayo Chiefs in a friendly encounter at Luveve Stadium on Sunday despite Kaindu's presence on the technical bench.

Highlanders won the game 2-1 courtesy of a Lynoth Chikuhwa brace. It was their second victory in pre-season after they won 1-0 against Greenfuel in Gweru the previous weekend.

Speaking after the Bulawayo Chiefs game, Ncube said the Dynamos fixture has pushed them to give an extra effort at training.

"The fixture itself managed to turn our heads on so that we know the season has started. Playing Dynamos is not like any other match; it's a big game so this allows us to see where we are in terms of preparations," said Ncube.

The coach also gave an update on players who are battling injuries like Darlington Mukuli and Ariel Sibanda.

"We have got a few injuries but these are not serious injuries. The boys should be back in action soon. As for Ariel, he should be back in action in three weeks," said Ncube.

It is highly unlikely the Highlanders' number one will be in goal when they face DeMbare.

Duels between the two have previously been marred by controversies and violence due to tensions driven by the teams' positions on the log, but this one being the season opener could deliver some good spectacle on and off the field of play.

The league is expected to kick off on the weekend of March 1-3, exactly a week after Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum would have battled it out in the Castle Challenge Cup at Baobab.

Meanwhile, CAPS United will begin their quest for the 2024 championship with a tricky home tie against Chicken Inn while FC Platinum will entertain newcomers Chegutu Pirates with Manica Diamonds getting the ball rolling against Simba Bhora at home.

The team promoted from the Eastern Region Division One league last year is yet to be determined with either Tenax or Bikita Minerals coming to join the league.

Tenax won the title but Bikita Minerals argued that their opponents in the final match day of the season Grayham had used an ineligible player in their 1-1 draw.

The Eastern Region awarded Bikita Minerals three points which won them the title and Tenax appealed to the Zifa Normalisation Committee.

Whoever wins between the two will face Herentals away on the opening day of the season.

Source - The Chronicle