March 27, 2024

Students hunt for first points

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Veronica Gwaze

Sports Reporter

WHEN Herentals travel to Luveve Stadium where they will clash with Arenel Movers tomorrow, the Paul Benza-led side will be seeking to collect their first points for this season.

This comes after the “School Boys” fell to a 2-0 defeat to giants CAPS United at Nyamhunga in their season-opening game. It was also coach Benza’s maiden assignment since his appointment to the hot seat.

His promotion came after the departure of Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva, who went on to join PSL champions Ngezi Platinum Stars.

However, he is not new in the dugout as he has been assisting Mutiwekuziva for years.

And the coach noted his side needed to start picking points if they are to achieve their target of completing yet another season in the top six.

“We played well in Kariba and, unfortunately, it was just not our day. Further, it was just our first game of the season against a team that was already playing their second one.

“They had gotten the chance to correct mistakes from their first game which gave them an advantage over us,” said Benza.

Herentals had a delayed start to the season after what was supposed to be their opening match of the season against a new team from the Eastern Region had to be temporarily shelved owing to promotion wrangles.

Eventually, Bikita Minerals won the promotion, and their clash with the “School Boys” is still pending.

“From what I noted in Kariba, we are in the right direction so we are not going to change anything,” he said.

“We have a full complement of our squad to select from and we are ready.”

Benza feels that last season, the team set a high standard that they need to live up to.

However, his team has a poor travelling record after picking a meagre 14 points in 16 away matches last season out of a potential 48.

They went on to complete the season in position six with 51 points, 15 behind champions Ngezi Platinum.

“We need to start picking up the points even if we are away, so we are going to fight in Bulawayo,” Benza said.

“We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that we are the best we can be; the points will also be crucial for us not to pressure ourselves later in the marathon.

“If it comes to the worst then maybe a point away will be okay.”

“We will be at a bit of a disadvantage because we won’t only be away but we have to travel more than 300 kilometres to go and play.

“This gives the opponent an advantage so it means we need to fight hard to bring something home and also start building our confidence going forward.”

Over the weekend, added Benza, the team had a recovery session at Margolis for them to recover from their travelling and training sessions.

This, he said, was also meant for team building and bonding.

“We also needed team bonding because it is important in that it makes them speak in one voice.

“Every team is made up of players who come from different backgrounds and view situations differently, so to be a team we need more of these sessions so going forward we will try and have more whenever we can.”

Arenel will also be looking to start collecting maximum points after recording two draws in their first two league games of the season.

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