Takudzwa Chitsiga-Sports Reporter
BLACK Rhinos coach Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa, who lost the core of his team after several senior players did not renew their contracts, believes they have enough arsenal to do well in the new Castle Lager Premiership football season.
Rhinos had an outstanding second half of last season after Mutizwa took over the reins from Herbert “Jompano’’ Maruwa and they were expected to mantain the core of the team that did duty for them but did not manage to tie down the players.
“Chauya Chipembere” lost 13 players who were regular starters and Mutizwa, who took charge of the army side after the sacking of Maruwa, who is now with Dynamos, transformed the army team into a formidable side. Mutizwa managed to transform Black Rhinos into a competitive side but losing the core of his team for this season looks like a drawback as he is to start from scratch.
The former senior national team skipper believes they will be up there and they will take their pre-season training camp to Gweru today as they try to bond with the new players they have recruited. “We are trying our best and the team is taking shape after we lost several players after their contracts expired. We are working hard and we will not take anything away from the players we have at the moment as they are professional and capable players. “The team still have a lot of senior players like Allan Gahadzikwa, who we expect to lead from the front. The team is a mixture of experience and young talent who I believe in.
“Our target is to do well and we are working hard for that,” said Mutizwa.
Rhinos have lost reigning Player of the Year Farai Banda, Gareth Madake, Peace Makaha, Eli Illunga, Dennis Dauda, Tawanda Chisi and Ashward Phiri, among several others.
The team, who got a two pairs of training kits from clothing line Style by Minie on Thursday, have been active on the transfer market as well.
“We have managed to retain some of our players who had undergone military training and they will add depth to the team.
“So far we have brought on board several players like Nelson Mwanasanga, who is coming from Chapungu, Darren Mutiwekuzunza, Kuda Nyakudanga, Valentine Katsande and Nigel Gezani. (Fellow army side) Tongogara have also provided us with Shelton Mhaka and Clive Rundofa while we also got others from our sister clubs Craneborne Bullets and Commando Bullets,’’ Mutizwa said.