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Training ground blues for DeMbare

Fifa, who funded the artificial turf at the stadium, advised Zifa that the facility be used only once a week after noting that the turf was suffering damage due to over-use.

DeMbare, who regularly used the Raylton Sports Club pitch for training, are trying to minimise using the facility because of the uneveness of the field.
Their bid to use Rufaro hit a snag and the team was only able to train at the facility yesterday, while attempts to hire the National Sports Stadium hit a brick wall as rivals Caps United were booked at the stadium throughout the week.

Dynamos’ attempts to use Gwanzura stadium have also been unsuccessful, with no explanation from the city council why they cannot train at the stadium.

Today, Dynamos are expected to train at Raylton Sports Club whichthey had intended to reserve for their juniors.

While there are training facilities at schools and sports clubs in the city, the hiring charges are too high for the team. For Rufaro stadium clubs are asked to pay US$35, while at some of the sports clubs they have to fork out US$100 for a training session.

Coach Calisto Pasuwa is not taking his opponents Hardbody lightly and has been psyching his players to approach the match as if they were playing Highlanders or Caps United.

“Players tend to get complacent playing against these new teams, but we have been playing many Division One teams during the off-season break and I have noted that the gap between the Premier League and Division One is now very small,” said Pasuwa. “We are playing against a team we do not know much about but one that knows everything about us, so we have to take this match as seriously as if we were playing a giant like Caps United. We cannot underrate them; we know that they will be well prepared to play their first match in the top league,” he added

Pasuwa will tinker with the team that featured in the Caf Champions League and is expected to use some players that are not registered in the continental competition.

Defender Guthrie Zhokinyi, who is serving a four-match suspension in the Champions League, is in line for selection while attacker Takesure Chinyama has recovered from injury after pulling a muscle last weekend.

Caps, who have been chopping and changing to try and mount a title challenge this term travel to Maglas Stadium for a date with Shabanie Mine. Shabanie survived relegation last season and have also been replenishing their resources in an attempt to build a squad that can steer clear of relegation battles.

They have also brought in new pl ayers after acquiring players from both Platinum FC and Division One side Zim Alloys.

But Caps will be the centre of attention after putting in so much work during the break which saw them sign Warriors hopefuls Chris Samakweri, Darryl Nyandoro and striker Rahman Kutsanzira. Their off-season manoeuvers will receive a stern test as Shabanie have a reputation of doing well at home.

FC Platinum begin their second attempt to win the league after finishing second last season with an away match against Black Mambas. The Platinum miners have secured Soccer Star of the Year  Allan Gahadzikwa from Motor Action.

Fading giants Highlanders have gone about their business quietly during the break but lost another vital cog when Gilbert Banda switched to FC Platinum. Their first task is against Blue Rangers, mid-table finishers last season whose mission is to maintain their stay in top-flight football.

Fixtures

Saturday: Black Mambas v FC Platinum (Morris Depot), Motor Action v Harare City (Motor Action Sports Club), Hwange v Quelaton (Colliery) and Chicken Inn v Gunners (Luveve).
Sunday: Dynamos v Hardbody (Rufaro), Highlanders v Blue Rangers (BF), Shabanie v Caps United (Maglas) and Buffaloes v Monomotapa (Sakubva).

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