ITa��S often said that desperate times call for desperate measures and Zifa Southern side Indlovu Iyanyathela did just that when faced with a sink or swim situation that called for bold efforts to save the team.
Faced with the prospect of fighting relegation by either sticking to old horses (players) with an average age of 28 years old or restructuring the team by infusing young blood, the team management went for the latter.
The Indlovu Iyanyathela squad is traditionally comprised of largely members of the Zimbabwe National Army and a number of players that are not soldiers by profession.
a�?The first step was to restructure the team by a�?retiringa�� veteran players to make way for about six young players during the transfer window period and the mid-season break.
a�?It was a difficult decision letting go of some of our experienced players but it was an option we couldna��t ignore to ensure the teama��s survival and continuity,a�? said club manager Blessing Mbwando as he watched his team beat CIWU 1-0 at Mzilikazi (formerly Brady) Barracks last Saturday.
The results are there for all and sundry to see.
Thrown into the teama��s attack not so long ago, 17-year-old Tafadzwa Dhliwayo bagged five goals in July outfoxing veteran 36-year-old Hwange striker Gilbert Zulu in scoring more goals for that month.
Young Dhliwayo becomes the youngest player to claim the monthly Nokel Security Top Goal Scorer award. He was awarded $200 for his efforts.
a�?The club doesna��t have money but our drive is to market ourselves and the players through playing good football.
Bringing in a couple of young players into the squad looked like a huge risk in the beginning but we are getting good results and thata��s what is important for the coaches, players and club management,a�? said Mbwando.
Indlovu Iyanyathela currently sit in the top four, a vast improvement from the lower end of the log standings, which seemed to have a permanent place for the team over the last couple of seasons.
This weekend the army side takes on Zim Leopards at Mzilikazi Barracks.
Saturday, 25 August
Makomo v HwangeA� (Hwange) 12pm ; Mainline FC v Toronto (Plumtree) 3pm; CIWU v CasymnA� (Crescent) 1pm;A� Indlovu Iyanyathela v Zim LeopardsA� (Brady Barracks)A� 12pm; Moto Moto v Mosi RoversA� (Hwange) 3pm; ZRP Byo Province v Tsholotsho (Ross Camp) 3pm
Sunday, 26 August:
NRZ Leopards v ZPC Hwange A�A� A�(Dete ) 3pm;
Wednesday, 29 August
Makomo v Indlovu IyanyathelaA� (Hwange) 3pm