BANTU Rovers coach and part owner Methembe Ndlovu says he has no regrets with his team’s performance this season in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) as it faces its defining moments in the last six league matches.
Rovers are second from the bottom of the log with 18 points from four wins, six draws and 14 losses. It appears they are heading back to the Southern Region Division One after returning to top-flight action for one season.
Mathematically, they can still survive relegation if they win all six remaining games and get 18 points, to take their tally to 36.
If Bantu manage to survive, they could snare some heavy sponsorship deals next season in the top-flight, mainly due to their organisation, sound junior policy and international contacts. Ndlovu is the director of Grassroots Zimbabwe, an international HIV and Aids organisation headquartered in the United States.
They drew their last league encounter against Hwange at Hartsfield Rugby Ground 0-0. But they have tough matches remaining starting with equally troubled Chiredzi at the weekend before hosting relegation-threatened Shabanie Mine and then travelling to Gweru for stubborn Chapungu.
After Chapungu, Tshintsha Guluva hit the road once more for Dynamos before playing city neighbours How Mine and then finishing off with Black Rhinos.
Triangle, who are on 12th position, are not yet out of the woods as they are tied on points with Black Rhinos who are a place down with 27 followed by Shabanie Mine who are a point behind.
Bantu Rovers merged with Plumtree Chiefs who were promoted into the league after winning the Zifa Southern Region Division One championship in 2013.
Chiefs accepted a $40 000 buy-out from Bantu Rovers in the process taking over their franchise.
“It was the right decision when we made it and we are going to continue moving forward. I do not want to start describing history because we are not out yet. People should not write us off yet because there are still a number of games left. We have no regrets,” he said.
Ndlovu, who won Highlanders’ last league title in 2006 and finished in second spot in 2007, said his youthful side had learnt a lot from their experience in the league.
“We have learnt a lot of lessons as a club and we have no regrets. We gained invaluable experience especially for the young players who include Nqo (Nqobizitha Masuku), Raphael (Tafadzwa Kutinyu), Teenage (Hadebe) and Bukhosi (Sibanda). The experience in the league can only do well for their future,” he said.
The four rookies have been a formidable force for Bantu Rovers both in midfield and defence.
Hadebe, Kutinyu and Masuku have found favour in the eyes of national team coaches as they have represented the country in the Young
“We are still in the league. People should not write us off as yet. We are very much alive. We are away to Chiredzi this weekend and it will be one of the toughest matches we have to play because they have nothing to lose. The pressure is on us because we still want to be in it,” he said.
Bantu Rovers made use of both veterans and youngsters during the season with the likes of Hebert Dick, Sizalobuhle Dube, Fortune Ncube, Zephania Ngodzo, Obadiah Tarumbwa and Moses Majika. Dick (35) will retire at the end of the season.
Bantu face Chiredzi who have been virtually written off the PSL as they are dogged by problems which saw them fail to fulfil their fixture against Chapungu and are likely to lose points to the Gweru side on a 0-3 scoreline.
The matter has been taken to the PSL disciplinary committee.