Long break for PSL

Warriors interim coach Jairos Tapera

COACHES have an opportunity to re-energise their squads for the next three weeks as the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) takes a long break to make way for the Warriors’ international engagements.

The Warriors engage into their second set of Group C Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Lesotho and South Africa in the next week and will also take part in a Cosafa competition.

Only one rescheduled match will be played on Saturday, pitting Herentals and Bikita Minerals at Rufaro Stadium.

“This serves to advise that the Premier Soccer League will be taking a break from 1 June 2024 to accommodate the upcoming Fifa World Cup Qualifiers and the Cosafa men's competition. The Castle Lager PSL matches will resume on Saturday, June 22, 2024,” PSL spokesperson Kudzai Bare said.

After two draws against Rwanda and Nigeria last November in Rwanda, the Warriors will “host” Lesotho next Friday at Orlando Stadium before an away fixture to Bafana Bafana at Free State Stadium four days later.

The local league’s hiatus will not be much of a break for Warriors head coach Jairos Tapera who leads the senior men’s national team in their quest to make a maiden appearance at the World Cup finals.

His local side Manica Diamonds rule the roost in the PSL log standings with 29 points from 14 games going into the break, while his assistant at the Warriors  Takesure Chiragwi’s Ngezi Platinum Stars, the defending champions, have had a bit of a struggle in the local league, perching on position six with 21 points.

Another Warriors’ assistant coach Saul Chaminuka, recently joined struggling GreenFuel and managed a draw against Highlanders at the weekend and his side is on position 12 with 17 points.

Behind Manica Diamonds on the second spot is the Norman Mapeza-coached FC Platinum with 28 points while Simba Bhora, under the guidance of Tonderai Ndiraya, are third with 24 points while Kelvin Kaindu’s Highlanders are a rung lower with 22 points, at par with Joey Antipas’ Chicken Inn.

It has also been an uphill task for giants Caps United and Dynamos in the 14 games that they have each played.

Coach Lloyd Chitembwe’s Green Machine are eighth with 18 points, while Dynamos with underfire coach Genesis Mangombe are seventh with 19 points.

Hwange anchor the log standings with a paltry eight points and have since engaged Rodwell Dhlakama to stir them away from the murky waters of relegation.

Dhlakama parted ways with GreenFuel.

It is also not looking for Arenel Movers, TelOne and Chegutu Pirates as they fight to exit the drop zone.

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