WITH about six weeks left before the start of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League teams have intensified preparations for the 2016 season with some clubs looking outside the country’s borders for friendly matches and training camps while others have opted to fine tune their tactics and combinations locally.
B-Metro Sport looks at how teams are preparing for the new season that is likely to start in the first week of April.
Bulawayo giants Highlanders Football Club will welcome new coach Erol Akbay in a four-team tournament at the White City Stadium comprising How Mine, Bulawayo City FC and Tsholotsho FC on Sunday.
The tournament dubbed The Bulawayo Festival starts at 10am.
Bosso chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said preparations for the 2016 season were in full swing with a number of friendly matches lined up. Last week the team beat lowly ranked Vumbachikwe 4-3 in their first competitive pre-season match at Jahunda Stadium in Gwanda.
“With the arrival of the new coach we have set the ball rolling in terms of our preparations. On Sunday we will take part in a four-team tournament while a number of friendly matches are also lined up the following week. We are hard at work and our preparations are shaping up,” said Gumede.
Akbay arrived at the Bulawayo giants on Tuesday afternoon.
Premiership debutantes Bulawayo City were scheduled to travel for a two-week training camp in the resort town of Victoria Falls this weekend but have shelved the plans to take part in the four-team Bulawayo Festival tournament.
Club chairman Jerry Sibanda said the training camp would have to wait for now and a decision to travel to Victoria Falls would be made in due course.
Caps United are expected to tour Mozambique and take part in two pre-season tournaments. The team will leave for Mozambique at the weekend.
Dynamos have been invited by Big Bullets of Malawi and Tanzania giants Young Africans for a series of friendly matches. DeMbare are likely to play two games in Blantyre and Lilongwe while in Malawi before they proceed to Tanzania where they will play three games. They are expected to leave at the end of the month.
Border Strikers are still to announce a new coach to take over from under qualified Never Malunga but according to team public relations officer Raniel Ndou it’s business as usual before the announcement of the new gaffer. The team is training in Beitbridge.
“Plans for a training camp have been put on hold until we appoint a substantive head coach who will be assisted by Never Malunga. We are currently training here in Beitbridge,” said Ndou.