HomeSportCastle Lager Premier League erupts

Castle Lager Premier League erupts

THE four-month wait is over; Castle Lager Premier League football returns with promises of yet more enthralling entertainment and bruising battles.

Kevin Mapasure

Last season, particularly the finale, produced captivating drama and this season promises more, if transfer activities coupled with relegation and promotion are anything to go by.

There are the tempestuous derbies such as Caps v Dynamos, the epic Highlanders v Dynamos clash and, throw in the giant killers, and you have much to expect.

Fans are expectant and the sponsorship has been increased; that cannot make for a bad season.

ZPC Kariba and Chiredzi FC have emerged from the dark shadows of the off-season break with renewed optimism after boardroom squabbles threatened their participation in the top-flight.

Since Chiredzi was freed from its ownership by Hippo Valley which had threatened to dissolve the club, there has been an irresistible sense of purpose about the way Moses Chunga and his charges have been conducting their business as they aim for a top-eight finish despite a shoestring budget.

Chunga will have to tap into his reservoir of expertise and experience at this level to squeeze every last drop of ability and commitment, having plucked talent from the obscurity of the Lowveld.

ZPC Kariba coach Saul Chaminuka tried to hit the spine of his former employers, Caps, by taking Tawanda Munyanduri, Tawanda, Nyamandwe and David Rediyoni to Kariba.

In the first match Chaminuka, aiming for a top-half finish, ironically engages Caps at Gwanzura stadium tomorrow.

The story of the off-season is the transfer business which saw giants Highlanders and Dynamos further strengthen while for Caps, it was a familiar tale of the mass exodus of players that triggered another signing spree.

Supporters are wondering which Caps will turn up this time, the fluent passing and frantically pressing side of last season or the lacklustre and labouring side of a couple of seasons before.

Expectations are that Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa will lead his champions into another title tussle with Highlanders and possibly Harare City, FC Platinum and Caps.

Tawanda Muparati led from the front last season when he won both individual and team awards and this time he will be looking to pick up from where he left, at a club where competition levels are higher with the arrival of Tafadzwa Rusike and Masimba Mambare.

Highlanders also boast of a solid squad on paper, what with the signing of Kuda Mahachi, Welcome Ndiweni, Joel Ngodzo, Rahman Kutsanzira and defender Felix Chindungwe to add to an already impressive side.

Bosso won the Mbada Diamonds Cup last season and coach Kelvin Kaindu would love to add the league title to his CV.

A visit to Ascot for a date with Chapungu on the first day sets a clash that could be exciting as any as the Gweru side seeks to catch fire on day one.

After failing to return to the topflight through the log Bantu Rovers bought their way back by purchasing a franchise. Black Rhinos will prove a stern test for them tomorrow.

Saturday: Caps United v ZPC Kariba (Gwanzura); Bantu Rovers v Black Rhinos (Luveve 1pm SS9); Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve 3:30pm SS9) and Chapungu v Highlanders (Ascot). Sunday: Hwange v Buffaloes (Colliery); How Mine v Dynamos (Barbourfields, SS9); Shabanie Mine v Triangle (Maglas) and Chiredzi v FC Platinum (Gibbo).

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