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GUNNERS are hoping to intensify their preparations for the ZIFA Northern Region Division One soccer league this weekend when they lock horns with army side Seven Flames at Two Brigade in a friendly match.

The league is expected to get underway on April 4.

Coach Kuda Masaraure said the matches will present them with a good platform to assess the players they have before they trim down the team.

“We are playing two games over the weekend and those two games will help us to look at the players we have and see who is good enough.

“Both matches will be against Seven Flames and it will give us a platform to assess our players and trim down our team because so far we have 45 players.

“We are hoping to have more games, we should have another one on Thursday next week and on the weekend we should have something again,” said Masaraure.

Gunners lost four key players to Flame Lily and CAPS United.

The four include midfielder Moses Demera, who was influential in their campaign last year as he scored 10 goals, captain Tendai Huwa and goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba.

The trio crossed the floors to join Premiership debutants Flame Lily while Justice Jangano at CAPS United.

“We have replacements, we have some experienced players training with us. We have Ramson Zhuwawo, Newton Katanha, Asani Nhongo and Wellington Sibanda, who was playing in Botswana,” said Masaraure.

“From our assessments so far these are good players and they have the experience. They are well disciplined and we don’t see any problems in signing them.

“We are still in negotiations but we have been speaking to them, they are willing to join us.

“We have retained some of our players from last year but we would want to sign 10 to 12 new players.” Speaking on his move to Flame Lily, Demera said he felt he needed a new challenge.

“I think it’s high time I play in the Premiership,” he said.

“I once played in the Premiership in 2009 when we won the championship with Gunners. And I have been patient so I just thought it’s time to go back to the Premier League.”

Source : The Herald