SHABANIE MINE secretary Pithius Shoko says they are confident that they will pull a string of surprises in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) and cup games this season despite a massive exodus at the club which saw them losing 11 players during the transfer window.
The Zvishavane side lost Caleb Masocha and Peter Muzondo (ZPC Kariba), Roy Mazingi and Blessed Mbavarira (Chapungu), Valentine Ndaba (Highlanders), Fungai Chirinda (How Mine) while Pervington Zimunya joined Caps United.
Shabanie Mine also lost Tarisai Rukanda who moved to city neighbours FC Platinum while Tafadzwa Mombeshora, Frankson Bushiri and Erea Phiri reunited with former Shabanie Mine coach Luke Masomere at Buffaloes.
Most of the players are reported to have left Shabanie because of the financial woes that hit the club during the course of last season.
Shoko yesterday told Southern Eye Sport that they were positive that the team they have assembled will pose a strong challenge this season.
“We are more than happy with the squad we have assembled. Even though some of the players we have are not big names, they are capable of delivering and pulling suprises in the premier league and in cup games,” he said.
The former asbestos miners have brought on board Xolani Ncube (Town United), London Zulu (from ZPC Hwange), Marvellous Dikinya (New West), Ashley Mokoena (Chegutu), Edmore Tsoro (FC Platinum), Ryan Mabhena (New West), Patrick “Mboma” Mpofu (Town United), Nyasha Mpofu (from How Mine) and Simbarashe Domingo from Chegutu.
Shoko said they are hoping to have a good run this year.
“Our main aim is to remain in the PSL. We won the BancABC Sup8r Cup. We want to string suprises. We lost 4-1 in the semi-final of the CG Msipa Charity football tournament, but we know that we have a very good team.
“The team collapsed in the last seven minutes of the game, so the coaches are now working on that,” he said.
Shabanie Mine ended their trophy drought when they beat FC Platinum 5-3 on penalties to clinch the 2013 edition of the tournament but they did not fare well in the Mbada Diamonds Cup.
They are now coached by John Phiri after Masomere left the club for Mutare.