Last year’s runners up, Hippo Valley, are among the favourites to win the promotional ticket, in a mix which also includes fellow Chiredzi side, Triangle, Marondera-based side AMC, premiership relegated side, Masvingo United and Mutare Prisons side, Tenax.
Eastern Region fixtures secretary, Wisdom Simba said this year they were expecting a good season from these teams saying that new tournaments might be added on the calendar.
“We are expecting a high level of competition in this year’s edition as club will be fighting to get that sole ticket into premiership,’’ Simba said.
Simba was very much optimistic that their executive was going to introduce tournaments along the way. “The other issue is that we might have a couple of cup tournaments this season, but our chairman, Fungai Chihuri, is the only person who can confirm those issues.”
Hippo Valley head coach, Taku Shariwa, came out guns blazing, saying they meant serious business this season. “l believe this year is going to be our year. We now have experience gained from all these years that we have been in the unfashionable world of Division One,” Shariwa said.
“Last year it was another near miss, as we finished second to Buffaloes. We have already played them in one of our friendly encounters, and we beat them by 1-0. We have been playing PSM clubs to strengthen our squad ahead of the new season. We have assembled a good team,’’ he added.