Player engagement key, says Sibanda

By Ricky Zililo

Former Premier Soccer League side, Bulawayo City, have averted discord in their camp by having regular player engagements, club chairman Jerry Sibanda told Chronicle Sport yesterday.

Jerry Sibanda
Jerry Sibanda

The local authority bankrolled club, relegated from the topflight last season after three years in the Premiership, look set for a quick return as they top the Southern Region Division One Soccer League table by a point, having amassed 18 points from eight games.

Sibanda, a seasoned administrator who served Bulawayo soccer giants Highlanders as the team manager and treasurer, said their aim is to keep the players motivated so that they can deliver on the championship.

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“We’re trying our best to keep going and I think you’ll agree with me that all the top six teams have an equal chance of winning the championship.

“What we’re trying to do or what we’ve been doing to our best with my executive backed by the board and our sponsors is to keep the players motivated by paying their bonuses on time, providing their salaries on time and paying part of their sign-on fees so that they remain focused. We’re working round the clock to make sure that the players focus on the field of play while we make plans to clear any outstanding matters.

“It’s those constant engagements with the players that have made us to be where we are and avoid rebellion. We make it a point that we meet the players every two weeks to hear their grievances. His Worship, the Mayor of Bulawayo (Solomon Mguni), our councillors and executive, as well as the Bulawayo community have been rallying behind the boys, turning out at their games to motivate them. It’s that kind of support shown to the players that is helping the team steadily charge towards the championship,” said Sibanda.

City take on tricky Indlovu Iyanyathela at Khumalo Barracks this afternoon in a match likely to draw a big crowd.

Indlovu Iyanyathela are tricky opponents, especially when playing at home.

While City do battle at Indlovu Iyanyathela, second-placed Talen Vision make a trip to Hwange to face army side, Moto Moto.

City are aware that a slip and a victory for Vision will cost them top spot.

Meanwhile, Bosso 90 and CIWU played to a 1-1 draw at Luveve Stadium yesterday, with Dominic Jaricha on target for Bosso while Percy Maphosa scored for CIWU.

Southern Region Division One Soccer League Week Nine fixtures

Today: Casmyn v Makomo (Turk Mine), Moto Moto v Talen Vision (Hwange, 3PM), Indlovu Iyanyathela v Bulawayo City (Mzilikazi Barracks, 12PM), Binga v Mosi Rovers (Binga, 3PM), Ajax Hotspurs v Arenel Movers (Crescent, 12PM), Mainline v ZPC Hwange (Dingumuzi, 3PM), Toronto on BYE

Table

P W D L F A GD Pts

Bulawayo City 8 5 3 0 23 3 20 18

Talen Vision 7 5 2 0 9 2 7 17

CIWU 9 5 1 3 11 7 4 16

Bosso 90 9 4 3 2 15 12 3 15

Indlovu Iyanyathela 8 3 4 1 5 1 4 13

Makomo 8 3 3 2 11 7 4 12

ZPC Hwange 7 3 1 3 9 7 2 10

Binga Pirates 7 3 1 3 7 7 0 10

Ajax Hotspurs 7 3 1 3 10 12 -2 10

Casmyn 8 2 2 4 7 10 -3 8

Moto Moto 7 2 2 3 6 12 -6 8

Toronto 8 2 1 5 8 20 -12 7

Mainline FC 7 1 3 3 9 9 0 6

Arenel Movers 7 0 3 4 4 15 -11 3

Mosi Rovers 7 0 2 5 3 14 -11 2. The Chronicle.

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