Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
GUNNERS coach Darlington Dodo says they are looking at building a strong team that will challenge for the Northern Region Division One Soccer league title this season.
The Northern Region side fell short last year on the title when they finished fourth. Ngezi Platinum emerged as the eventual winners. Gunners kick-started their pre-season preparations last week and Dodo said they are focusing more on youngsters as they are trying to build a competitive team to challenge for the title.
“What we are doing is trying to build a team that will be very competitive. That’s why we are trying to invest in new blood. I am an ambitious coach and this an ambitious club also. So I am looking at players who are passionate and good at the game.
“What I will be looking at is getting results, pushing and challenge for whatever we have to challenge for,” said Dodo.
Dodo said they should be done with the trials this week before adding that although there are going to be changes at the club, they are going to retain some of their players.
“Gunners have merged with CAPS United so our Division One side have more of developmental players.
“We are looking at young players. So we have certain age-groups we will be focusing on especially those below 20. Sometimes you get about 40 to 50 players everyday day at training, most of them are coming for trials but I think we will finish-off this week. “We will be looking of course from our team, we will retain some of the players. Yesterday we had some of the players we identified coming and we have been talking to some of them, they have been saying they are coming so we are still waiting.
“We are trying to blend the players we had before with the new ones that have been coming,” Dodo said. The former Premiership champions have been finding it difficult to return to the Premier League since their relegation in 2012. In 2014, Gunners came close to earning promotion into the top-flight league after leading the race for most of the second half of the season but they failed to last the distance as they dropped points towards the end of the season to finish second behind champions Flame Lily.