CHICKEN INN head coach Joey Antipas says there will be no time to relax as there are no small teams in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Antipas was speaking ahead of the GameCocks clash with debutants Flame Lily in their season league opener at Luveve Stadium on Saturday.
Coming from Division One last year, Chapungu held Bossso to a goalless draw at Ascot in their first game and Chiredzi shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw with FC Platinum at Chishamiso Stadium.
ZPC Kariba, the strongest of the newcomers last season, held Caps United to a 1-1 stalemate in their first game at Gwanzura Stadium and they were runners-up at the end of the season just a point behind champions Dynamos after faltering on the last day losing 2-3 to Caps United.
Bantu Rovers were the only side from Division One that lost their first game 0-1 to Black Rhinos at Luveve.
Tshintsha Guluva, Chiredzi and Rhinos were relegated from the top-flight league, making way for Flame Lily, Tsholotsho FC, Dongo Swamills and Whawha.
Antipas yesterday said he was ready for Flame Lily and his boys must not lose focus, but start straight away with collecting maximum points.
“Our attitude against Flame Lily is we have got to be spot-on and we just have to start with a win and focus on the next game. We don’t know them (Flame Lily) so we have to give them the respect.
We just have to maintain our focus and the boys have to play Flame Lily like they were playing Highlanders, Dynamos or Caps United. All the teams in the Premier Soccer League are strong and that’s why Flame Lily won the Northern Region Division One,” Antipas said.
New acquisition Tafadzwa Kutinyu, who joined Chicken Inn from Bantu Rovers on a season’s loan and defender Lawrence Mhlanga will miss Saturday’s game as they are in camp with the Under-23 Young Warriors who take on Cameroon in an All-Africa Games match on Sunday.
Skipper Danny “Deco” Phiri will lead the GameCocks, who have in their squad Thabani Goredema, Clemence Matawu, Mkhokheli Dube, Ishmael Lawe, Brian Mbiriri, Devine Lunga, Canaan Nkomo and new acquisitions Mitchelle Katsvairo, David Temwanjira and Edmore Chirambadare.
Flame Lily, like fellow newcomers Tsholotsho FC have retained most of the players that gained them promotion to the PSL and are coached by Nesbert Saruchera.
Tomorrow: Harare City v Tsholotsho (Rufaro)
Saturday: FC Platinum v Dongo Sawmills (Mandava), Chicken Inn v Flame Lily (Luveve), Dynamos v Buffaloes (NSS), ZPC Kariba v Highlanders (Gwanzura)
Sunday: Triangle v Hwange (Gibbo), How Mine v Chapungu (Luveve), Whawha v Caps United (Ascot)