Paul Mundandi Sports Reporter
NEWLY promoted Border Strikers have started renovations of their favourite hunting ground Dulibadzimu ahead of the 2016 season despite their sponsorship being in limbo.
“Our stadium is under renovations. We are constructing a doping room, sash room and putting up a new grandstand. We are also going to work on the turf probably planting a new lawn.
“We are going to announce a new coach in two weeks’ time after conducting interviews last week and we shall also be announcing the names of the new players that will be coming to join us,” said Gibson Makanda, the Border secretary-general.
“As you know that we are a community club, Beitbridge Town Council is going to be sponsoring us just like what happens with Bulawayo City and Harare City. The community will also be chipping in,” said Makanda.
Makanda was previously the secretary of Tripple B, who were relegated from the Premiership three seasons ago. There, however, appears to be some confusion in Beitbridge with the municipality dismissing claims that they will bankroll the team.
Loud Ramakgapola, the Beitbridge Town Secretary, was singing a different tune.
“We are not sponsoring Border Strikers. Please kindly put it correctly across that we are not bankrolling them. All we are doing is renovating the stadium and the work started last week on Wednesday.
“Mr Mukuna (Wilfred) and Mandireva (Elisha) from PSL were here two weeks ago and we had a meeting for more than two hours. They told us their minimum requirements on the stadium and that is what we are basically doing to the council-owned stadium.
“We have started working on the terraces and lawn and we must be done in two months’ time. We hope it will carry a capacity of 3 000 but I doubt it will be able to handle big games featuring the likes of Dynamos and Highlanders,” said Ramakgapola.
The blow by Beitbridge Town Council will leave Border Strikers cash strapped as the team has no capacity to play in the Premiership without sound sponsorship.
If the pitch is condemned like last time that means Border Strikers will either be playing their home matches in Masvingo or Zvishavane.
When ZPC Kariba were promoted they spent one and half seasons playing their home matches at Gwanzura.
The fortunate part for ZPC was that they had the full backing of the Zimbabwe Power Company.
Border Strikers also seem to have been affected by the fall of the rand against the United States dollar as the rand is mostly used in the border town. Sources said while they have ambitions to do well in the top-flight the club is struggling to raise PSL affiliation fees.