By Ricky Zililo
Ambitious Premier Soccer League club Chicken Inn FC have included midfielder Bret Amidu in their 28-member squad that leaves the country for a week-long pre-season camp in Malawi tomorrow.
The club said negotiations for the release of Amidu, who has a running contract with champions FC Platinum, are at an advanced stage and they are confident the player, who spent last season on loan at Dynamos, will be cleared to join the Bulawayo outfit.
Chicken Inn have signed eight players and should Amidu’s move materialise, he will become the ninth to join the Gamecocks, who are eager to challenge for the title.
Ngezi Platinum Stars’ trio of goalkeeper Donovan Bernard, defensive midfielder Tinashe Chipunza and striker Clive Augusto, winger Malvin Gaki, the former Dynamos trio of right-back Phakamani Dube and attackers Valentine Kadonzvo as well as Panashe Mutasa and central midfielder Sipho Ndlovu, who joined the club from Bulawayo City, complete the list of new faces at Chicken Inn.
“We are travelling with a squad of 27 players. We should be leaving on Tuesday and returning on March 5 in time for the ZNA Charity Shield match against Highlanders set for March 10. The essence of this trip is team bonding as well as measuring the level of preparedness of the team.
“Remember we have got a number of players who have joined us and this is the chance for them to know about the team’s culture as well as bond with their new teammates,” said Chicken Inn spokesperson Tawengwa Hara.
On Amidu, Hara said: “Amidu is also part of the travelling squad as we continue negotiations with his club. We are hopeful that he will be part of us this season.”
Central midfielder and 2018 Castle Lager Soccer Star of the Year finalist Innocent Mucheneka, who has been AWOL and is yet to attend training, has been ruled out of the trip.
In Malawi, they will play three games against Malawi champions Nyasa Big Bullets, who are coached by former Dynamos and national team gaffer Callisto Pasuwa, Ferroviário de Nampula from Mozambique and Be Forward Wanderers of Malawi.
The last time Chicken Inn went for a pre-season camp outside the country was in 2016 when they were invited to a four-team tournament in Zambia.
Then, Chicken Inn were preparing for their maiden Caf Champions League appearance. In the Zambian tournament, the Gamecocks played against Azam of Tanzania and Zambian giants Zesco United and Zanaco.
Last year, Chicken Inn played against Zanaco and Nkana Red Devils of Zambia as part of their pre-season preparations at Luveve Stadium. The Chronicle