ROCK AND ROLL. . . as champs Gamecocks host Glamour Boys

DynamosPetros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
AN explosive start to the 2016 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season is on the cards, with champions Chicken Inn opening the campaign with a showdown against the side they dethroned on April 2.

The Gamecocks ended Dynamos’ four-year dominance of the championship when they beat the challenges of DeMbare and FC Platinum to the title with Triangle coming fourth.

According to the fixtures programme released by the PSL yesterday, the Gamecocks will be at home to DeMbare on Match Day One with that clash being the highlight of that opening weekend of games.

It will also present a tough first game for new DeMbare coach Paulo Jorge Silva.

Chicken Inn had their maiden dance with Champions League football ending prematurely last weekend after they were knocked out at the preliminary stage by South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns following a 2-1 aggregate defeat.

But that was not before the Gamecocks had impressed in both legs and it is on the back of their gallant showing against Sundowns that their domestic clash against Dynamos points to an epic duel.

Dynamos are undergoing transformation under the guidance of the Portuguese gaffer and the expatriate coach could not have asked for a tougher opening assignment than one against the champions.

Apart from the Chicken Inn against DeMbare clash, there are also some potentially exciting battles including CAPS United’s home meeting against Chapungu.

The Green Machine have just returned from a pre-season tour of Mozambique where they impressed with new signing, poster boy Archford Gutu, catching the eye with his goal-scoring shows.

Gutu’s decision to choose the Green Machine, rather than return home to his former club Dynamos, is likely to be one of the issues to spice up the championship race and the duel between the capital’s two biggest clubs.

The Harare Derby is set for Game Four.

Highlanders, who have also turned to Europe for technical guidance by engaging Dutchman Errol Akbay will, just like Dynamos, be on the road for their opening assignment of the season with Bosso facing Hwange at the Colliery.

Norman Mapeza, whose youthful FC Platinum outfit fought strongly for honours last year, will receive Tsholotsho while a battle of the newboys will be served at Sakubva when Mutare City host Clifton Kadurira’s Ngezi Platinum.

In other opening day games, veteran coach Sunday “Mhofu’’ Chidzambwa, who has challenged his ZPC Kariba side to do better this year, will be at home to Saul Chaminuka’s Premiership returnees Border Strikers while a Bulawayo derby will be dished between How Mine and Bulawayo City and Triangle take on Zimbabwe’s Confederation Cup representatives Harare City at Gibbo.

There has been a lot of activity on the player transfer market with just about every club securing new personnel, making the 2016 season potentially exciting.

Although there are genuine fears that they could lose some of the stars of their Champions League show against Sundowns, Chicken Inn’s reigning Castle Lager Coach of the Year Joey Antipas wants his men to focus their attention on defending their league title.

There are indications though that their midfielders Michelle Katsvairo and Devine Lunga are now on the radar of some South African clubs and could be snapped up before the domestic season ends.

Dynamos, on their part, may have lost some key players such a Blessing Moyo and Ronald Chitiyo but the Harare giants have not only gone to Europe for a coach, but have lured players from South America and Portugal in their quest to restore their lost glory.

DeMbare are this week expected to embark on a pre-season tour of Tanzania and Malawi.

CAPS United also want to turn back the hands of time to an era when they dominated the domestic game and the Green Machine have blended youth and experience in the squad they have assembled ahead of the season.

Club president Farai Jere has challenged his men to try and win the league championship after a huge investment in new players, and pay back the fans who have stuck with them for the decade that they have been vainly searching for league honours.

 

Match Day 1 fixtures:

Week 1

How Mine v Bulawayo City

ZPC Kariba v Border Strikers

Chicken Inn v Dynamos

Triangle v Harare City

CAPS United v Chapungu

Hwange v Highlanders

FC Platinum v Tsholotsho

 

Week 2

Bulawayo City v Tsholotsho

Highlanders v FC Platinum

Chapungu v Hwange

Ngezi Platinum v CAPS United

Harare City v Mutare City

Dynamos v Triangle

Border Strikers v Chicken Inn

How Mine v ZPC Kariba

 

Week 3

ZPC Kariba v Bulawayo City

Chicken Inn v How Mine

Triangle v Border Strikers

Mutare City v Dynamos

CAPS United v Harare City

Hwange v Ngezi Platinum

FC Platinum v Chapungu

Tsholotsho v Highlanders

 

Week 4

Dynamos v CAPS United

Bulawayo City v Highlanders

Chapungu v Tsholotsho

Ngezi Platinum v FC Platinum

Harare City v Hwange

Border Strikers v Mutare City

How Mine v Triangle

ZPC Kariba v Chicken Inn

 

Week 5

Chicken Inn v Bulawayo City

Triangle v ZPC Kariba

Mutare City v How Mine

CAPS United v Border Strikers

Hwange v Dynamos

FC Platinum v Harare City

Tsholotsho v Ngezi Platinum

Highlanders v Chapungu

 

Week 6

Bulawayo City v Chapungu

Ngezi Platinum v Highlanders

Harare CIty v Tsholotsho

Dynamos v FC Platinum

Border Strikers v Hwange

How Mine v CAPS United

ZPC Kariba v Mutare CIty Rovers

Chicken Inn v Triangle

 

Week 7

Triangle v Bulawayo City

Mutare City v Chicken Inn

CAPS United v ZPC Kariba

Hwange v How Mine

FC Platinum v Border Strikers

Tsholotsho v Dynamos

Highlanders v Harare CIty

Chapungu v Ngezi Platinum

 

Week 8

Bulawayo City v Ngezi Platinum

Harare City v Chapungu

Dynamos v Highlanders

Border Strikers v Tsholotsho

How Mine v FC Platinum

ZPC Kariba v Hwange

Chicken Inn v CAPS United

Triangle v Mutare City

 

Week 9

Mutare City v Bulawayo City

CAPS uNITED v Triangle

Hwange v Chicken Inn

FC Platinum v ZPC Kariba

Tsholotsho v How Mine

Highlanders v Border Strikers

Chapungu v Dynamos

Ngezi Platinum v Harare City

 

Week 10

Bulawayo City v Harare City

Dynamos v Ngezi Platinum

Border Strikers v Chapungu

How Mine v Highlanders

ZPC Kariba v Tsholotsho

Chicken Inn v FC Platinum

Triangle v Hwange

Mutare City v CAPS United

 

Week 11

CAPS United v Bulawayo City

Hwange v Mutare City

FC Platinum v Triangle

Tsholotsho v Chicken Inn

Highlanders v ZPC Kariba

Chapungu v How Mine

Ngezi Platinum v Border Strikers

Harare City v Dynamos

 

Week 12

Bulawayo City v Dynamos

Border Strikers v Harare City

How Mine v Ngezi Platinum

ZPC Kariba v Chapungu

Chicken Inn v Highlanders

Triangle v Tsholotsho

Mutare City v FC Platinum

CAPS United v Hwange

 

Week 13

Hwange v Bulawayo City

FC Platinum v CAPS United

Tsholotsho v Mutare City

Highlanders v Triangle

Chapungu v Chicken Inn

Ngezi Platinum v ZPC Kariba

Harare City v How Mine

Dynamos v Border Strikers

 

Week 14

Bulawayo City v Border Strikers

How Mine v Dynamos

ZPC Kariba v Harare City

Chicken Inn v Ngezi Platinum

Triangle v Chapungu

Mutare City v Highlanders

CAPS United v Tsholotsho

Hwange v FC Platinum

 

Week 15

Dynamos v ZPC Kariba

Highlanders v CAPS United

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