Bulawayo — FORMER Highlanders and FC Platinum defender, Zephaniah Ngodzo, was part of the new faces that turned out at Chicken Inn's first training session for the 2013 football season. During a closed door first
day of training Ngodzo, who was part of the players off-loaded by the Zvishavane club, was part of the quartet of Cabby Kamhapa, Richard Jongwe and Tonisani Sibelo who worked out at a city gym yesterday.
"Zepha (Ngodzo), Jongwe, Cabby Kamhapa and Sibelo joined us today at training," said a senior Chicken Inn player.
"It was not a shock to the guys because every season people try their luck in the team.
"I think more faces might join us as we continue. Sydney Linyama is the only player from last season who did not attend the session."
Ngodzo and Kamhapa fell out of favour with the management at FC Platinum alongside seasoned goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, former Dynamos winger Benjamin Marere, veteran defender Norman Togara, Thandazani Ndlovu, Tsungi Mudzamiri and Rowan Nenzou.
Pint-sized enterprising midfielder Jongwe, who was at Gweru's Hardbody last season, is also hoping to impress Chicken Inn's new gaffer Mandla 'Lulu' Mpofu.
Jongwe was one of the outstanding players at Hardbody but could not save the Gweru club from sinking into relegation. Sibelo was wanted by Chicken Inn last season but could not be released as he had a running contract with Hwange.
Mpofu confirmed that there were new faces who trained with the team but could not be drawn into revealing the names. He is likely to sign players to fill the gaps left by Ntokozo Tshuma, who has been recalled by his club FC Platinum after a season's loan spell, and Linyama, who has been registered by Dynamos, for their Caf Champions League campaign.
"We just started training today.
"Actually, we were at the gym because we are taking things gradually and I don't want to overload players since we are coming from a six-week break.
"I am happy that almost all of our key players made it for our first session which is key because it gives you a clear picture in terms of planning.
"On new faces, obviously there are players who believe that they have what it takes to compete at our squad and we will not chase them away.
"There were some guys who came in but I cannot tell you their names," said Mpofu. Some of Chicken Inn's senior players that attended yesterday's training include Castle Lager 2012 Soccer Star of the Year finalist, Felix Chindungwe, Guide Goddard, Brian Mbiriri, Thabani Goredema, goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni and Moses Jackson.