Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HOW Mine have been hit by a player exodus, forcing the club to revise its strategy to rebuild a team using “unknowns” to compete in the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
Financial challenges that hit the gold miners last season and saw players striking over outstanding salaries, bonuses and signing-on fees forced senior players to look for greener pastures.
They also lost head coach Kelvin Kaindu, who returned to his native Zambia to take charge of Power Dynamos.
Former national team and Highlanders’ defender Bekithemba Ndlovu has been given the responsibility of assembling a new squad.
Ndlovu confirmed that the only senior players that have been training with them are the former Warriors’ duo of Milton Ncube and Peter “Rio” Moyo as well as Zambian Makundika Sakala.
“We are doing our best to make sure that we assemble a squad that will effectively compete in the Premiership.
“We lost almost all the senior players and now we’re in a rebuilding exercise.
“Our target is to have a squad that will ensure that we survive relegation because at the end of the day whether you rebuild or not, what is important is to deliver,” Ndlovu said.
Some of the juniors that are still at How Mine are utility player Nqobile Ndlovu and dribbling wizard Tanaka Chanengeta.
Former How Mine players, who have secured new homes include goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, who signed for Caps United, goalkeeper Donovan Bernard, defender Nelson Tachi and midfielder Thembani Masuku have joined Manica Diamonds of Mutare, with the pair of defender Kudzi Chideu and winger Toto Banda training with Chicken Inn.
Midfielder Adolf Muganyi is also trying his luck with Chicken Inn, while defender Frank Makarati has reportedly signed for Dynamos.
Midfielder Pasca Manhanga, utility player Praise Tonha and striker Tinashe Makanda are said to be among some senior How Mine players still club hunting.
Veteran striker Kuda Musharu reportedly extended his contract at How Mine at the beginning of the year.
Ndlovu, who is also the national Under-20 coach, said he has been working with the club’s development coaches to assemble a decent squad.
The miners have also added former Hwange and Caps United goalkeeper Witness Munkuli to their technical team, as their goalkeepers’ trainer. Munkuli, who was at Harare City, replaces Tembo Chuma, who is now with Highlanders.