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MUTARE army side Buffaloes are hopeful that they would return to their favourite hunting ground Sakubva should the venue pass the ZIFA and Premier Soccer League test.

However, before they can dream of a quick return to Sakubva, Buffaloes, still reeling from the departure of coach Moses Chunga, will have to make do with their adopted home of Vengere in Rusape when they host Triangle on Saturday.

Buffaloes are one of four sides including ZPC Kariba, Tsholotsho and Flame Lily whose home grounds have so far failed to make the grade.

In a PSL fixture released yesterday, it was confirmed that the Zifa Grounds Committee which had an inspection last week at Sakubva and Vengere had not approved the Mutare facility.

Vengere will this year be home to Premiership newboys Dongo Sawmills and for now the Manicaland sides would have to share the venue.

While the club feels it is a setback, the club’s spokesperson Gladman Chimonyo is confident that by the time they host Highlanders in a couple of weeks they would have completed the renovations and be certified fit to use Sakubva.

“It is beyond our control as the management of the City failed to complete the renovations. But in two weeks’ time we are expecting the venue to be fine. When we play Highlanders we are hoping we should be at home in Mutare.

“They have finished some of the important work such as the precast wall, perimeter fence and it is only that the renovations started very late,” he said.

Watungwa Watungwa coach Joseph Takaringofa said it is a setback for his team, but they would have to quickly recover and start getting points “home away from home.”

“We are preparing as we want to start winning. The defeat against Dynamos was an eye opener and we are busy preparing.

“It is a setback that we would be playing our home matches in Rusape, but that is what is there and we have to try and adjust. We will go and train there tomorrow (today) and Friday,” he said.

“We are welcoming back Liberty who was with Under-23 as well as Phillip Chandisaita who didn’t play in the first match and we are a bit stable now,” he said.

After their 3-0 defeat by Dynamos, Buffaloes come up against a fired up Triangle who shot to the top of the table after mauling Hwange 5-2 at Gibbo.

Although Buffaloes are mourning the switch to Vengere, PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele said they would not compromise on security standards.

Ndebele said while the league understood that clubs and council authorities are facing economic challenges they needed to fulfil the minimum requirements so that everyone from the players up to the supporters are safe.

“The stadiums which are not featuring on the fixtures are not up to standard.

“It is not like we are being too strict with these clubs, but all we are asking for is minimum security requirement. Security is a priority. But we are happy with the progress. Other infrastructure required such as anti doping rooms, dressing rooms we understand that cannot be achieved at one go.

“We are fully aware there are concerns and other clubs are not happy,” Ndebele said.

Flame Lily who want to use Larfarge this season will also play their first home match at Gwanzura against Whawha this Saturday as they await the completion of work at the Manresa venue.

Coach Nesbert Saruchera speaking ahead of the game against fellow newboys and sister club Whawha said they would have to make do with their temporary home as they finish some “touch ups”.

“We are playing our sister club, but these teams are difficult to play. We are all coming from Division One and the players would be trying to outdo each other. I have played many games of this nature in division one when we would play sister clubs such as Commando and these matches were very difficult.

“We lost in Bulawayo to a super charged Chicken Inn, but I was happy with the performance though I was left disappointed with the result.

“We have prepared enough. Everyone would love to start on a high note, but as a coach you build on from any result,” said Saruchera.

The team will again miss experienced Isaac Madziva who is still on the sidelines with an injury he got during the pre season.

But in Webster Muronda, Moses Demera, Tendai Huhwa, Prosper Chinyama, the younger brother of former Shooting Stars forward — Heavens — the newboys can hope that collect first set of points against their fellow service team.


Saturday: Harare City v Chicken Inn (Rufaro) Flame Lily v Whawha ( Gwanzura), Chapungu v Dynamos (Ascot) Buffaloes v Triangle United (Vengere)

Sunday: Dongo Sawmill v How Mine (Vengere) CAPS United v FC Platinum (National Sports Stadium) Tsholotsho v Highlanders (Barbourfields) Hwange v ZPC Kariba (Colliery).

Source : The Herald