Bantu Rovers braces for tough en­counter

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Re­porter

A FLAW­LESS South­ern Re­gion Soc­cer League sea­son is on the cards when matches re­sume on Satur­day, with Zifa South­ern Re­gion chair­man Musa Man­daza say­ing no team will get a week­end bye.

The first half of the sea­son had messy fix­tures, with some teams go­ing for two weeks with­out kick­ing a ball.

Fol­low­ing their mid-year gen­eral meet­ing last Satur­day, Man­daza said they were ready to roll.

“Every­thing is in or­der and this time we’re go­ing to have a smooth pro­gramme. Some of the prob­lems from the first half em­anated from teams with­draw­ing at the be­gin­ning of the year when the fix­tures had al­ready been done. Re­mem­ber Chiefs were in­volved in an ac­ci­dent and had about six weeks off, but now we’re ex­pect­ing a flaw­less run,” said Man­daza.

The league games restart with lead­ers Bantu Rovers tak­ing on 11th-placed Cas­myn at Lu­veve Sta­dium and coach Jo­hannes Ngodzo is ex­pect­ing a tough en­counter.

The for­mer na­tional team mid­fielder said: “The sec­ond half will be tricky, but we will take each game as it comes. We’ve to show men­tal strength be­cause be­ing at the top makes you ev­ery­one’s tar­get.”

Rovers are on 37 points after 15 matches, four points above sec­ond-placed Ama­ga­gasi, who re­sume the sec­ond half of the sea­son with a home tie against Black Boots.

Third-placed Bu­l­awayo Chiefs, who are ex­pected to an­nounce their coach to­day, are on the road to Hwange for a date against Hwange Ju­niors.

Chiefs played their last match of the first half of the cam­paign against ZRP Hwange in the coalmin­ing town and beat the law en­forcers 3-0 with­out a coach after Anzilom Ndlovu and his tech­ni­cal team were fired on the eve of that game.

Their for­mer coach Thu­lani Sibanda, who had left of take up the as­sis­tant’s role at Chicken Inn, is tipped to re­join the club after he re­port­edly quit the Game­cocks.

“There are a few things that we’re work­ing on be­fore we an­nounce the coach. I know it has taken long from an out­sider’s view, but I re­ally needed time to make sure that I don’t re­gret the de­ci­sion I make. Like I said to you, the coach will be some­one who un­der­stands our goal, which is to de­velop tal­ent as well as ef­fec­tively com­pete for honours,” said Love­more Sibanda, the Chiefs’ direc­tor.

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