By Muziwethu Hadebe
@Hartsfield Rugby Ground, Bulawayo (Chicken Inn FC Training)
“After finishing third in 2018, second in 2019, there has been progression and I smell something brewing up in 2020,” Chicken Inn FC head coach Joey Antipas declared after his team’s two hour training session at the Rugby field on Wednesday.
“In 2020 we should go a notch higher but it’s going to be a fight and it won’t be easy, Dynamos have awaken up from their slumber with some good acquisitions, Caps United have done the same, FC Platinum look strong, You can’t write off Highlanders they are always there and Ngezi Platinum Stars also look strong but we should be in there fighting,” said Antipas who has won two league titles before with Motor Action and the Game Cocks.
Antipas said in as much as they lost Innocent Muchaneka who used to score some vital goals for them, the new players were fitting well into his system.
“ Our new signings have shown good attitude, I am firm believer in that what you rub off at training translate into what you will rub off on the match but they will have to make their mark on the team just like Clive Augusto did and half way through the season he was gone,” said Antipas.
Chicken Inn have so far signed right back Ian Nekati from ZPC Kariba, Left back Nelson Ketala from Ngezi Platinum Stars, Clive Dzingai from relegated Mushowani, Brian Muza who scored 14 goals for FC Talen Vision last year in Division one as well as steady defender Brian Giant signed from another Division One side Mosi Rovers and Sherpard Mhlanga from Bulawayo Chiefs.
Antipas who refused to comment on his appointment as Warriors assistant coach said that they are now ready to start playing practice matches ahead of the start of the season.
“We are now looking at playing some friendly matches but the Malawi tournament will give us three matches to assess our players, it’s a big tournament which now has new sponsors and we were there last year and we will face competitive teams like Nyasa Big Bullets which is coached by Kalisto Pasuwa, BeForward who are big rivals to Nyasa, there is also a side from Mozambique Nampulu, so we going there not to win but to assess our readiness for the new season, but if we win the tournament it will a plus for us,” said Antipas.
The Chicken Inn head coach promised the handful of Chicken Inn fans and the neutrals across the country that his team was going to play some good football.
“We will play some good football, we have also added Energy Murambadoro into the technical team, he brings in a wealthy of experience into the team having played in Europe, South Africa as well as the national team, already there is some vibe in that department and a good cohesion with the technical team,” he added.
Asked on his appointment as Warriors assistant coach Antipas refused to comment. “No comment on that one, I don’t want to say something that’s going to be suicidal…………ahhh no comment on that one,” he reacted when asked about the warriors job.
Chicken Inn is set to leave for Malawi on the 25th of February for the tournament that is set to run from the 28th of February to the 1st of March.