Hwange upbeat in Chibuku Super Cup
HWANGE are aiming to have another dance with the elite clubs in the African continent by lifting the prestigious Chibuku Super Cup and with it a ticket to participate in the Caf Confederations Cup for the second time in five years having taken part in the 2012 edition.
To achieve that feat which came as a result of finishing fourth in the 2011 season, the coalminers will have to take the first giant step this afternoon and prevail over fellow miners Ngezi Platinum in what promises to be a cliffhanger first round tie at Baobab Stadium, home of the Premiership debutants.
Coach Mebelo Njekwa believes they have to make up for a mediocre season by fighting tooth and nail all the way in this tournament.
“We are ready for this match which obviously will be a tough one but we are hopeful that we can atone for a mediocre season by surprising everyone to lift this cup.
“We also hold a psychological edge over our adversaries as we beat them 2-0 in our league match in Hwange, which interestingly was their first loss and our first home win in the league.
“This competition also serves as a route to the Caf competition and that is motivation enough for us as we yearn to use the 2012 experience in this African showcase.
“The morale in the camp is high and my players are raring to go.” said a buoyant and soft speaking Njekwa.
His sentiments were echoed by captain and veteran defender Obert Moyo who will be at the heart of the coalminers’ rearguard.
“We have prepared very well and going to Ngezi all out for a win. Traditionally we do far much better when we play away from home as there is no pressure and I have trust in my colleagues who are also itching to leave an indelible mark in this tournament.
‘‘Besides, the people of Hwange religiously support our team and it is high time we make them happy.” said Moyo. Young Gift Mbweti, by far Hwange’s best player this year and without any doubt one of the best players in the Castle Lager Premier league at the moment, is also confident of cruising into the next stage of the competition.
“The match will be tough that is a fact as Ngezi Platinum will be out to fully utilise home advantage but I am confident we will sail through to the next stage.
“I will play my normal game and hope to contribute to the team’s success at the end of the day,” said Mbweti.
Other players expected to give Hwange the edge include; vastly improved goalkeeper Future Sibanda, defence pillars Gerald Ndlovu and David Boriwondo, midfield engine rooms Farai Vimisai, Innocent Mucheneka and Pritchard Mpelele who will look to supply clean balls to ageless striker Gilbert Zulu upfront.
Not to be outdone, the Tonderai Ndiraya coached home team will be banking on players like joint Castle Lager Player of the Month for July 2016 James Ngulube, Liberty Chakoroma, Terrence Dzukamanja, Kelvin Bulaji and Edgar Tapera.
They also have a shrewd mentor in Ndiraya — @ tobymandox.