Pirates haunted by ‘same old’ ghost NOT LOOKING GOOD . . . All is not well in the Chegutu Pirates camp with the 2024 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season about to start.

Veronica Gwaze-Sports Reporter

AFTER making it to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League for the first time after more than four decades of trying, Chegutu Pirates would ordinarily be in high spirits as they prepare for their maiden dance in the elite league. 

However, it appears as if the achievement somehow brought nothing but misery to the Day Gutu-led side. 

“Slow and sluggish” are the terms that the coach used to describe their preparations for their premier soccer league debut season. 

The Chegutu-based side was for long rocked by financial challenges which saw the team, during its Division One times, having to carry a cash box to their games to receive monetary handouts from their fans.

Boardroom issues have also, for long, marred the club, leading to the exit of their former chairperson, Brian Nkiwane, during the offseason. 

Despite the coming in of a new sponsor at the eleventh hour before the 2024 season commencement, the coach feels disgruntled. 

Currently, he is yet to finalise his PSL retainers list for this season as some players are yet to be given contracts. The club had also not formally registered with the PSL going into the last week of pre-season.

“Slow, and sluggish are the best terms I can use to describe our preparations for PSL, a lot is happening behind the scenes which is beyond our control but hopefully we will get it right,” he said. 

“It is like when the desirable is not available, the available then becomes the desirable. I wanted certain players but I ended up retaining the bulk of the players that did the job in Division One. 

“However, that was not my wish.” 

“Dzinza”, as they are affectionately known, have only managed to rope in veterans Arnold Mkhuli from GreenFuel, Tafadzwa Jabangwe, a former Cranborne Bullets star, and Tinotenda Chiunye from Botswana Premier League, Tafic. 

Gutu said he will largely rely on his “amateur” players to do the job. 

“These are the only experienced players that I have; the rest are Division One players. So, I am hoping that maybe through training and motivation, we will get it right,” he said. 

“We also have three boys from the Ngezi developmental side, one from Trojan and one from Gwanda. It is generally a mixed bag of Division One material that I have to play around with.” 

His mandate, he said, is to survive the chop at the end of the season. 

However, based on the resources that he has, Gutu is aware of the fact that it will not be easy to achieve his target. 

To add to their woes, the Gutu-led outfit is also yet to know which stadium they will be using as their home ground. 

They have so far listed Norton’s Ngoni Stadium, Baobab, and Rufaro as their preferences. 

“We desire to stay in the elite league, we want to survive so we will do our best,” he said. 

“I know it is going to be a tough journey, I have no regrets working with the boys who brought us this far but we needed to boost the major areas with experienced guys. 

“However, some would come, and train for two or so weeks but because contracts could not be availed in time, they would go on to leave.” 

Added Gutu, “We have been training differently, upped the game and we have also beefed up the technical team so that we make an impact on the league. 

“We have listed our three options for home games and are yet to hear which one will be approved for us to use. 

“We will be playing our home games away from home, hopefully, that will not affect us much considering that we are a team that largely relies on fans, numbers and being away from home will mean fewer numbers but we are simply hoping for the best. 

“I know that an inferiority complex is going to hit us here and there so we are also working to make sure that mentally the boys are ready for the PSL.

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