Lu­pahla con­fi­dent of TelOne

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Rashiwe Murisa Sports Re­porter

TELONE head coach Joel Lu­pahla be­lieves his side has the ca­pac­ity to com­pete in their de­but sea­son in the Premier Soc­cer League which com­mences in March. The Wi-Fi boys gained pro­mo­tion after win­ning the Cen­tral Re­gion Divi­sion One cham­pi­onship ahead of army side Ton­gog­ara, who have since been banned for two sea­sons on dis­ci­plinary grounds.

The team fin­ished the sea­son on 44 points to join East­ern Re­gion’s Man­ica Di­a­monds, Mushowani Stars from the North­ern Re­gion and Hwange, who were the South­ern Re­gions cham­pi­ons, into the elite league.

How­ever, the new­boys are not likely to go out of their way to boost their squad like what has been hap­pen­ing with their peers Man­ica Di­a­monds.

Lu­pahla re­vealed that his team will be us­ing As­cot sta­dium as their home ground for Premier League games.

“We are us­ing As­cot Sta­dium but we are train­ing at Zim Al­loys for the pre-sea­son prepa­ra­tions. Our boys need to be fit for the sea­son. We un­der­stand that there is stiff com­pe­ti­tion and most of our boys don’t have Premier League ex­pe­ri­ence so we need to work ex­tra hard,” he said.

The for­mer High­landers and War­riors winger hopes to avoid rel­e­ga­tion in their debu­tant sea­son and stay in the Premier League for long. “My tar­get is to stay in the Premier League and groom more young­sters. I hope to get at least two or three play­ers from the national Un­der-20 team that was in Zam­bia for the COSAFA CUP late last year be­cause I be­lieve in nur­tur­ing young tal­ent,’’ added Lu­pahla.

De­spite los­ing mid­fielder Pride Zivengwa to giants CAPS Utd, the Gweru-based side are not go­ing to take on board big names as they are op­er­at­ing on a limited bud­get. “We are work­ing with a min­i­mal bud­get so we may not con­tract new play­ers for the com­ing sea­son. How­ever, we are con­fi­dent with our old play­ers be­cause they steered the ship into the Premier League. They will be com­pet­i­tive,” he said.

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