Story by Lawrence Trusida
ARMY side, Black Rhinos are bracing for a re-building season in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after losing 13 players.
The two time premier league champions will parade a new look side when they kick off their 2023 campaign after retaining only four players from the squad that finished in ninth position last season.
Chauya Chipembere lost 13 players among them Keith Madera and Eli Ilunga who followed former Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa to Dynamos.
Leftback Farai Banda joined Manica Diamonds, while centre-back Gareth Madhake is now with Ngezi Platinum Stars, Ashward Phiri moved to Herentals and John Nyabinde is now with Triangle United.
The Army side have recalled Douglas Mbewe and Kelvin Chiripawako who were on loan at Cranborne Bullets, re-signed Gift Saunyama who was now at Herentals to add to other signings of Nelson Masanga from Chapungu and Darren Mutiwekuzunza who was turning out for lower division side, Chinhoyi Stars.
Head coach Stanford ‘Stix’ Mutizwa believes the new signings will help the side to avoid relegation.
“The players are responding to the methods that make us happy, it’s every coach’s dream to remain in the league and that is our aim to avoid relegation, we are building a team for the future, but you never know in football, but we are not targeting silverware,” he said.
Black Rhinos will kick off their campaign away from home with a date against fellow army side, Cranborne Bullets before hosting Highlanders on match-day two with matches against Bulawayo Chiefs and Caps United following in week three and four.