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GIANTS Highlanders and CAPS United have promised to field g teams in tomorrow’s Bob91 Super Cup at Barbourfields as they have both split their teams to do battle on two fronts this weekend.

Half of the Makepekepe team is expected in Bulawayo today while the other half was due to arrive in Malawi last night for the Zambezi Cup.

Highlanders are sending a team to Beitbridge where they have arranged a pre-season friendly match against Border Strikers.

Brenna Msiska and Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi yesterday led a group of Makapekepe players on a road trip to Lilongwe where they are scheduled to play the country’s champions Big Bullets in the Zambezi Cup on Tuesday.

The Malawian trio of Gerald Phiri, Ishmael Thindwa and George Nyirenda headlined the line-up of players that will take part in the Zambezi Cup.

The side also includes newboys like Never Tiger, Charles Mutero and returning goalkeeper Itai Chiwara.

The Green Machine are the defending champions of the tournament following last year’s success in the inaugural edition.

The tournament, however, will feature only two teams after the organisers scrapped the other two teams because of time constraints.

CAPS United coach Mark Harrison will lead the remaining players in battle against Highlanders as he hope to have a closer look at his players before making a final decision on the squad to be registered at the Premier Soccer League.

Makepekepe are coming from a morale-boosting win over arch-rivals Dynamos in the inaugural Sino-Zim Cement Cup, which they won 6-5 after a penalty shootout at Rufaro last Sunday.

CAPS United captain, Hardlife Zvirekwi, said Makepekepe were looking to play to defend their status as one of the Castle Lager Premiership’s Big Three.

“It’s always a competitive game facing Highlanders who are one of the biggest teams in Zimbabwe. So we have to be high up there for us to win.

“But considering that there are new guys coming in the team we would need time to gel and to understand one another as players.

“We have different strengths but we need to have one spirit, the team spirit, and obviously believe in one another’s abilities. Most of all it’s the pride and the prestige that is at stake. We have to be g and be united for one cause. It needs collective effort,” said Zvirekwi.

Organisers have pegged the gate charges at US$2 for the rest of the ground, US$5 for the Upper Grand Stand while VVIP tickets will be going for US$10.

Makepekepe have a different outlook this year after parting ways with several key players and roping in a new technical team headed by Harrison.

Highlanders have also started the year on a rebuilding phase under new coach Bongani Mafu. The former Zimbabwe Saints coach has a bias for youth but he will use the experience of Mthulisi Maphosa, Rahman Kutsanzira, Felix Chindungwe, Bruce Kangwa and former How Mine striker Simba Sithole to form the core of his team.

Mafu yesterday said the Bulawayo giants were geared up for their clash against Makepekepe although they were splitting the side with the other players set for Beitbridge.

Their Under-19 coaches Dumaza Dube, Gift Lunga Jnr and Shepherd Mabeleka.

“The Bob91 Super Cup could be referred to as a preparatory game by some people but to us it’s a big match.

“We will do our best to win this game and then try to take that winning mentality into the new season,” said Mafu.

“We are a big club, we have 30 players who will be taking part in the Premiership this season plus we have more players in our junior team that plays in Division Two.

“So we have a g squad for this weekend which we will split and mix.

“We are happy with how we have been preparing during the off-season and I can say we are more than ready for the weekend’s challenges.

“We were in Victoria Falls recently where we played about four games against local sides. So we have to keep improving on fitness and try to maintain the shape.”

Mafu said he was encouraged by the team spirit and the mix of youth and experience.

However, there was sad news at the club following the death of Edmore Muzanenhamo’s father, which he said was a blow to the morale of his side.

Muzanenhamo’s father was buried yesterday, with most of the Bosso players and officials in attendance.

The former How Mine player is not expected to play any part during the weekend.

Source : The Herald

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