TSHOLOTSHO FC have decided to move back to their rural base and use Tsholotsho Stadium as the team looks to make a quick return to the Premier Soccer League next year.
Iziqholo zeZhwane as Tsholotsho FC are affectionately known spent three seasons in the topflight league but were relegated last year.
It was in 2017 when the club – struggling to find a corporate sponsor and attract large crowds to watch their home games – made a decision to shift base from Bulawayo to Beitbridge in a move aimed at cashing in on gate takings at Dulivhadzimu Stadium.
The ingenious move from Bulawayo to the border town paid off as the team managed to attract an average of 1 500 fans per home game – revenue which came in handy when paying off service providers such as the police and match officials.
But now that it’s back to Division One in the Zifa Southern Region, Tsholotsho FC have decided to retrace their roots back home.
“Tsholotsho Stadium did not meet minimum requirements to host Premier Soccer League matches and that is why we were forced to move to Bulawayo and later on to Beitbridge while playing in the Premiership.
“But the stadium can still host Division One games so we are moving back to our base in Tsholotsho. We have a good following back home and that will be an added advantage as we seek to bounce back into the Premiership,” said club chairman Mlamuli Phiri. Tsholotsho FC will next week announce a new coach to take over from Darlington Dodo who joined Premiership side Bulawayo City last month.
“We still have a few loose ends to tie with the new coach but we will unveil him next week. Hwange FC will be one of our biggest challengers to the promotion ticket but we believe that we are also a big club in our own right and can attract the best players,” said Phiri.
The Zifa Southern Region league is most likely to kickoff in March.