Chipangano On Course!
Coal Miners Hwange believe their prospects of an early Premiership return are on track, as they sit second on the Southern Region Division One League table after seven rounds of games.
Hwange were relegated from the topflight alongside Harare City, Tsholotsho FC and Bantu Rovers in 2017.
Harare City found themselves back in the Premiership following the collapse of How Mine, while Tsholotsho and Hwange went into the unfashionable Southern Region Division One League, and Bantu Rovers disbanded.
Tsholotsho lead the league table with 15 points, one ahead of Hwange.
After seeing his charges fight back from a goal down to win 2-1 away to NRZ Leopards in Dete, Hwange coach Nation Dube is convinced they are on track for a quick Premiership return.
Dube, a former national team assistant coach, is bullish and such a confident declaration by the coach is likely to give the players an element of self-belief.
“Our approach is simple; we take each game like a cup final.
“We are going out there to grind results and at the weekend we managed to come from a goal down, which shows that the mental attitude of the players is great. We keep on correcting mistakes from the past games and that is what is driving us,” said Dube.
“I think with such positive attitude and work rate, we are on course to reach our target of returning to the Premiership next season. What we simply have to do is learn to take control of our games, pick up as many points as possible and pay little attention to how other teams play,” he said.
Hwange have assembled a strong side made up of players with both Premiership and First Division experience. Defenders Felix Chindungwe and Munyaradzi Mungadze, midfielders Canaan Nkomo and Marlvin Longwe, winger Sheppard Gadzikwa as well as striker Gilbert Zulu are driving the coal miners’ quest for a return to the elite league.
The coal miners are in the championship favourites’ bracket with leaders Tsholotsho, Makomo, ZPC Hwange and Talen Vision.
The 2018 Division One league is proving to be more competitive, with just three points separating leaders Tsholotsho and fifth-placed ZPC Hwange, who are on 12 points.
Dube’s charges face Talen Vision in their next game.
“Eliminating teams we are competing with for the ultimate goal is key in the direction we are taking. I’m happy because the boys understand and share the vision we have,” Dube said.
Talen Vision have been plagued by inconsistency, resulting in their title aspirations being questioned. The bad spell they have gone through has seen them drifting away from the early pace setters.
However, Talen Vision manager Juma Phiri says they can’t be written off from the championship race just yet.
“Like any other team we are go through a bad patch and luck is eluding us. We just hope we take another corner this week as we go to Hwange. We are going there for a positive result.
“Those who want to rule us out of the race can do so at their own peril. We are just five points behind the leaders and if you look at it, even teams that are above us are dropping points and struggling as well,” said Phiri.
Week 8 Fixtures
Friday: Casmyn v Mosi Rovers (Turk Mine), Indlovu Iyanyathela v Tsholotsho (Mzilikazi Barracks), CIWU v Bosso 90 (Crescent,12PM), Main Line v ZRP Bulawayo (Plumtree), Toronto v ZPC Hwange (Luveve), Makomo v Moto Moto (Hwange), Zim Leopards v NRZ Leopards (Luveve, 12PM)
Saturday: Hwange v Talen Vision (Hwange, 12PM)
Saturday: ZRP Bulawayo Province 1-1 Makomo, Moto Moto 3-0 Zim Leopards (Hwange), NRZ Leopards 1-2 Hwange, Talen Vision 0-0 Toronto, ZPC Hwange 1-0 Casmyn, Mosi Rovers 2-0 Indlovu Iyanyathela
Sunday: Bosso 90 2-1 Main Line, Tsholotsho 1-1 CIWU