TOMORROW, the curtain officially comes down on what has been another eventful Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) mid-season transfer window period.
Barring any major deadline day coups, clubs may have to make do with what they’ve got until the end of the season.
A busy month was anticipated as teams at the top of the table were expected to put the finishing touches to their squads‚ as the struggling clubs at the bottom attempted to find the right formula for survival.
However, in the end the major highlight was on players leaving local clubs for greener pastures out of the country as the current economic crisis continues to make it increasingly difficult for local clubs to hold on to players.
Sports World takes a look at some of the winners and losers of the mid-season transfer window from all the 18 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League teams.
The ambitious Premiership new boys went for broke in this transfer window, making some sensational signings as they bid to secure a spot at the top of the topflight league.
After earning promotion into the league Yadah did not make any major signings, but got a majority of their players after calling for trials.
After a strong start to the season, wheels began to come off the Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries-owned side’s rollercoaster and relegation was fast becoming reality.
Yadah FC did not waste any time, bringing in highly-rated defender Dennis Dauda, who became the first high-profile signing of the mid-season transfer window period after leaving champions CAPS United.
The Jairos Tapera-coached side also pulled off a shocker by swooping on unsettled nomadic striker Rodreck Mutuma from Bulawayo giants Highlanders.
While Mutuma, who has also featured for Dynamos and CAPS United over the last three years, had struggled to make an impact at Bosso, his big match temperament presents a good capture for Yadah.
The PSL title challengers have been quietly going about their business in the mid-season transfer window period as they look to shrug off their tag as the domestic Premiership’s nearly men.
The Zvishavane-based platinum miners, who endured an indifferent start to the season made a statement of intent after luring Poland-based bustling striker Takesure Chinyama after his departure from Polish side LZS Piotrówka.
Another veteran striker Mkhokheli Dube also joined the club from Bulawayo City while former TP Mazembe winger Ali Sadiki was brought in as a direct replacement for Talent Chawapihwa, who was signed by South African side Baroka FC.
Hamadzashe Moyo also joined from Division One side Banket Mine while negotiations are still ongoing with Chicken Inn for the signature of defender Lawrence Mhlanga.
Due to their well-documented financial problems, Dynamos were in danger of losing some of their key players, a development which could have derailed their championship campaign.
DeMbare risked losing rejuvenated midfielder Denver Mukamba as his contract expired just as the mid-season transfer window period was opening, which could have seen him leaving for another local club.
Mukamba was also owed part of his signing-on fees. However, Dynamos moved swiftly to tie down the star player with a two-year contract.
Dynamos captured utility player Godfrey Mukambi from Tsholotsho as a direct replacement for Elisha Muroyiwa who left for Tanzania. Midfielder Wisdom Mutasa also followed Muroyiwa to East Africa but DeMbare seem to have a balanced side capable of challenging for the title.
The champions are probably the biggest losers of the mid-season transfer window period as they stand to lose several key players, that impressed during their historic CAF Champions League campaign.
After losing Dauda to Yadah, the Farai Jere-owned side already looks set to part ways with striker Abbas Amidu, midfielder Ronald Chitiyo and defender Ronald Pfumbidzai.
Rumours continue to make rounds that Edmore Sibanda could also be headed for the exit door.
Abbas, one of the few bright sparks of CAPS United’s campaign, has reportedly attracted interest from a number of North African clubs. Five-time African football champions Zamalek were the first club to register interest in the player while Algerian champions USM Alger have also made enquiries over the player.
Abbas, who was also believed to be under the Ngezi Platinum radar locally, however appeared to have settled for a move to Smouha when he bid farewell to his teammates last week, but Sports World understands that a deal is yet to be concluded.
Chitiyo is also reportedly being courted by Tunisian side CFS Sfaxien, while Pfumbidzayi is already in South Africa for a possible move to Bloemfontein Celtic.
During last season’s mid-season transfer window period, the Bulawayo giants lost two influential players as their title charge subsequently went off the rails, much to the disappointment of their fans.
Utility player Bruce Kangwa, who was leading the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, joined the trek to Tanzania to join Azam FC, while free-scoring striker Knox Mtizwa was signed by South African side Bidvest Wits.
This year it was yet another case of history almost repeating itself as Bosso again lost two attacking players with chief striker Prince Dube being snapped up by South African club Supersport United while Mutuma also left the club to join Yadah FC.
Worryingly, the Bosso leadership has not shown any intent to sign any new players during the mid-season window period.
For a side which is sitting second from the bottom of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League log standings, Banyu Rovers had the audacity to sell two of their best players.
PSL top scorer Bukhosi Sibanda left for Ubuntu Cape Town in the South African National First Division league. Striker Obrey Chirinda also followed Sibanda to the same team days later.
Instead of bringing out the cheque book, Tshintsha Guluva have done what they always do — promote their juniors into the first team.