By Ricky Zililo
Bulawayo City FC are yearning for a fruitful second dance in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after winning the Zifa Southern Region Division One League title at the weekend.
The municipal side beat Talen Vision to the PSL ticket by six points after amassing 67 points from 28 games.
City went into the final weekend against relegated Arenel Movers needing a point to guarantee themselves a Premiership slot, but posted a 3-0 win, while Vision, who were playing under protest, succumbed to their third defeat of the season, going down 1-0 to Makomo.
Jerry Sibanda, the City chairman, said “real work” had started and they would soon meet to map the way forward.
“It’s good to be back in the PSL and now real work begins. We said at the beginning of the year we wanted a quick return and we’ve managed to meet that target. There are three things that we have to meet and discuss as a matter of urgency; technical, players and sponsorship,” said Sibanda.
“I’m sure this week we will engage the technical team to find out their wish list because we don’t want to go into the Premiership with a weak squad. We’re going to the PSL to compete and stay there. The technical team will let us know who to sign so that by the time we go for the Christmas holiday, much ground would have been covered.
“We will also use this time to meet our sponsors and potential sponsors as we try to get things done early,” he said.
The City boss, whose side played second fiddle to Vision for the better part of the season before toppling their rivals with five games left, said team work carried them through.
“We were one from the board, executive, secretariat, technical staff and team from the onset. We tried as an executive to motivate our boys in terms of bonuses, with well-wishers chipping in to make sure that the players remained focused on the job. I must say Talen Vision really gave us a good challenge, but because of our experience, we managed to hold on and prevail,” said Sibanda.
City coach Try Ncube, who has managed to join the elite group of coaches that managed to win a Premiership ticket, was also on cloud nine.
Ncube, who took over at the beginning of the season when Bekithemba Ndlovu left to join Highlanders, was assisted by former First Division championship winning coach Johannes Ngodzo and Golding Dube.
“We are reaping rewards for the hard work we put in as a group. We had a fantastic group of players, technical team, and enjoyed support from the team’s management, which made our work easy. Of course, there were hiccups here and there, but we kept our eyes on the goal, that is winning the championship,” said Ncube.
City had a number of experienced players who included former national team defender Zephaniah Ngodzo, skipper Zibusiso Sibanda, Christopher Samakweri, Darryl Nyandoro and goalkeeper Kelvin Nyoni.
Meanwhile, Toronto and Arenel Movers were relegated to the Zifa Bulawayo Province Division Two League.
Hwange-based Moto Moto are holding on by a thread and hoping PSL teams from the Southern Region escape relegation. The army side is third from the bottom and fell 1-0 to Casmyn at the weekend.
Should either Hwange or Bulawayo Chiefs be relegated from the topflight, Moto Moto will sink to the Zifa Matabeleland North Province Division Two League.
Saturday: Casmyn 1-0 Motomoto, Toronto 0-3 Binga Pirates, Bulawayo City 3-0 Arenel Movers, CIWU 0-4 ZPC Hwange, Bosso 90 3-1 Mainline, Indlovu Iyanyathela 2-0 Ajax Hotspurs, Makomo 1-0 Talen Vision
P W D L F A GD Pts
Bulawayo City 28 20 7 1 60 9 51 67
Talen Vision 28 18 7 3 65 13 52 61
ZPC Hwange 28 14 9 5 34 13 21 51
Makomo 28 13 9 6 40 24 16 48
I/Iyanyathela 28 12 9 7 31 16 15 45
Bosso 90 28 11 10 7 38 31 7 43
CIWU 28 10 8 10 30 33 -3 38
Binga Pirates 28 10 6 12 29 38 -9 36
Ajax Hotspurs 28 10 5 13 33 35 -2 35
Casmyn 28 8 6 14 26 34 -8 30
Mainline 28 5 10 13 21 39 -18 25
Mosi Rovers 28 6 7 15 19 40 -21 25
Motomoto 28 5 8 15 20 52 -32 23
Arenel Movers 28 3 11 14 21 44 -23 20
Toronto 28 4 8 16 19 70 -51 20