Gamecocks’ bonding  camp concludes “Derbies are always difficult to predict. We will not underrate Arenel Movers. They proved to be a good side by holding defending champions Ngezi Platinum Stars. It shows that they are in the league to compete,” said Gamecocks head coach Joey Antipas.

Fungai Muderere-Sports Reporter

FORMER Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions Chicken Inn concluded their three-day bonding camp held at Matobo National Park yesterday. 

The team went into camp last Friday and returned before midday yesterday. 

Head coach Joey Antipas said it was an important exercise to do after welcoming several new faces to their squad. 

“It was a good bonding camp. It was important for us to have such a particular camp because we have quite several new players on our team. We needed to have these players come together, see each other daily, and sleep together,” said Antipas. 

He added: 

“They engaged in some team building activities and there were no training sessions that were held. It was a bonding exercise that was held in an entirely jovial atmosphere, everyone had fun. Now it’s back to more serious business as we focus on the coming games.” To bolster their midfield department, the Gamecocks reunited with former club captain Danny “Deco” Phiri, Innocent Mucheneka, and utility player Brendon Rendo. They also managed to lure Thulani Joseph, and pint-sized Elshaamar Farasi from CAPS United and Bulawayo City respectively while adding striker Brighton Makopa from Hwange. 

Chicken Inn beat Dynamos to the signature of ex-Bulawayo Chiefs and Yadah FC imposing goalkeeper Issah Ali. 

Youthful defender Brandon Mpofu, who was formerly with Dynamos, also landed at Gamecocks. In what could be a milestone, the club has also hinted that it may register 14-year-old Mpopoma High School pupil Awakhiwe Tshalibe with their first team.

Tshalibe is a wunderkind in the making who also sharpens his football skills at Mpopoma Sports Academy (Mposa). 

They lost Richard Hachiro to Ngezi Platinum Stars and Shepherd Mhlanga to former champions FC Platinum. 

Centre-back Mpumelelo Bhebhe left for the United States of America on scholarship.

Chicken Inn retained the services of goalkeepers Donovan Bernard and Pride Zendera, defenders Dominic Jaricha, Neilson Ketala, Dumoluhle Lunga, Vincent Moyo, Itai Mabunu, Arthur Chinda, and club captain Xolani “Lolo” Ndlovu. Other seasoned players that committed to the club are skillful George Majika, Malvin Hwata, Genius Mutungamiri, hard-running Brian Muza, and last year’s Soccer Star of the Year finalist Michael Charamba. Chicken Inn is set to start its 2024 season campaign with an away fixture against CAPS United set for Saturday in Harare. After their fixture against Green Machine, they will fight it out against Arenel Movers before they head to Zvishavane to do battle against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium.

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