Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
PREMIERSHIP returnees Hwange believe they have what it takes to be counted among the league title favourites.
Chipangano, who are coached by former players Nation Dube and Brian Njobvu, are presently a point behind table toppers FC Platinum after six games comprising four wins, one, one draw and a loss.
Some of the wins came against so-called perennial campaigners and heavily funded teams like Dynamos (2-1), Ngezi Platinum (2-1) and Manica Diamonds (1-0).
Their loss came at the hands of defending champions FC Platinum (0-2) and last weekend they managed to absorb a torrent of attacks from Highlanders to eventually walk away from Barbourfields Stadium with a point after a nil-all stalemate.
They have a 100 percent record at the Colliery Stadium where they square off against airmen Chapungu United this Sunday, while FC Platinum are involved in a Midlands derby with TelOne at Barborufields Stadium.
Second-placed Caps United, who are yet to taste defeat just like Pure Platinum Play, visit a wounded Triangle United at Gibbo Stadium, presenting a perfect opportunity for Hwange to climb to the top of the log standings for the first time.
It is probably these statistics that are making Dube believe that maybe 2019 could be their year of reckoning.
“We are not here to make up the numbers,” Dube said after holding Bosso to a goalless draw last Sunday.
“From the first game, we were among the favourites because we came here to play, to compete. We didn’t come to add numbers so from game zero, game one or whatever you can call it, we were also favourites,” said Dube, who was heavily tipped to become Madinda Ndlovu’s assistant last season before the Bulawayo giants settled for Mandla ‘Lulu’ Mpofu.
“Everyone who is here has got something to compete for so I cannot say there is someone who is here for, say number eight or top four; you just have to compete for the big one,” he said.
With a team of youngsters from the local Wankie Amateur Football Association (Wafa) and blended with battle hardened players like captain Gerald Ndlovu, former Highlanders’ skipper Felix Chindungwe, ageless striker Gilbert Zulu and impressive goalkeeper Taimon Mvula, Chipangano may only be taken as one of those teams at one’s own peril.
Despite having meagre resources from the ailing coalmining giant, the club has been kept afloat by the timely intervention of one of the local companies Premier Motor Spares.