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FORMER CAPS United assistant coach Saul Chaminuka reckons ZPC Kariba did not have the best preparation ahead of their debut in the Castle Lager Premiership this weekend.

But he has promised to give the Green Machine a good run for their money when the sides clash at Gwanzura on Sunday.

Chaminuka was assistant to the current Makepekepe head coach Taurai Mangwiro last year before he decided to leave for greener pastures in Kariba, with some seasoned players like Tawanda Nyamandwe, Tawanda Munyanduri and David Rediyoni in tow.

But the uncertainty over their team’s participation in the Premiership slowed down preparations and Chaminuka feels they had not done enough by the time they got the green light from their parent company two weeks ago.

ZPC Kariba, who won the Northern Region Division One championship last year, have brought in about 15 new players to beef up their squad.

Chaminuka yesterday said CAPS United should not expect an easy game.

“It’s all about the spirit, the spirit to win because those guys at CAPS United would want to show me how far they have developed since I left while some of the guys I have here also have a point to prove.

“So it’s all about the team that settles well first,” said Chaminuka.

Besides luring the trio of Munyanduri, Nyamandwe and Rediyoni from the Green Machine, ZPC Kariba have gone for experienced players like Norman Togara, Pardon Chinungwa, Limited Chikafa, Obey Mwerahari and the ex-Shabanie Mine duo of Caleb Masocha and Peter Muzondo.

ZPC Kariba’s mission this year is to survive relegation but Chaminuka said his first four games will be more of “warm-up” matches as his side did not have the best of preparations during the off-season.

Chaminuka said the players lacked preparatory games as they only engaged two Premiership teams Black Rhinos and FC Platinum and two sides from the lower divisions as part of their build-up to the new season.

“I can’t really say we had the best of preparations because we didn’t know whether we were going to participate in the Premiership or not.

“We needed to play warm-up games to gauge our preparedness against good opposition but we only managed to play against two Premiership sides.

“We were training at Chaminuka Stadium since January and the furthest that we went was Nyamhunga, here in Kariba, yet we needed to get used to different playing surfaces and environments.

“So the first four games or so will be to work on the team and the players’ fitness because right now I cannot talk about that aspect since we have not been tested.

“As I said, it was a difficult time to prepare but the boys will need to push hard on Sunday because we are not here to give away points just like that.

“We are going to fight tooth and nail to survive relegation in our first season. That’s our major aim and everything else will be bonus. Then from the second season onwards, we should expect even better performances and even fighting for the title,” said Chaminuka.

Fixtures

Saturday:

Bantu Rovers v Black Rhinos (Luveve 1pm SS9) Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve 3.30pm SS9) Chapungu v Highlanders (Ascot) Chiredzi v FC Platinum (Chishamiso).

Sunday:

Hwange v Buffaloes (Colliery) How Mine v Dynamos (Barbourfields 3pm SS9) Shabanie Mine v Triangle United (Maglas) CAPS United v ZPC Kariba (Gwanzura).

Source : The Herald

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