Top team axes players, out hunting

The defending champions have off-loaded eight of their topplayers from the Buschschule base and are on the verge of losing two more influential strikers.

Club team manager, Paul Straumus, has released a list of players dropped by the club.

Top among them is former national team skipper, Johannes Congo Hindjou who steered the club to two back-to back title wins. Zambian winger, Danny Chilufya has also been axed from the squad together with the Zimbabwean duo of striker, Wilbert Mazembe and defender Peter Mambanje.

Straumus revealed that the club would not be in a position to keep the services of injured Zambian Chanda Mawape. Mawape never played for the Bethlehem Boys in the league as he failed to recover from a career threatening knee injury since the 2005-2005 pre-season training.

Championship winning players, Dickson Witbeen and Chris Nauseb have also been given the freedom to look for other clubs. Congo Hindjou has since sought greener pastures at mid-table dwellers African Stars.

“We will soon write a letter to the Premier league requesting to know the dates of the resumption of the league because if we buy new players now and start practising without knowledge of when the league will start , our players might become frustrated with the weight of delays,” Straumus explained.

The 2006 champions have also been hard hit as enterprising forward Heini Isaaks is being linked to three Germany clubs, for trials.

Heini, the premier league top goal scorer and possible recipient of the player of the season award, scored the opener in the Cosafa match against Malawi before creating all the goals in the 3-2 win, last week.

Besides Heini’s expected departure, 2005 top goal scorer and primer league sensation, William Chilufya has also been strongly linked to South African Mvela league club, City Palace. Chilufya has been the soul of Civics for the past three seasons and scored a hatrick in the 2005 African Champions League match against Angolan side Sagrada.

Civics say they have recruited the services of renowned football agent and scout, Mario Carrera to assist acquiring more players for their new campaign in the champions league as well as the premier league.

Portuguese-born Carrera has linked most of the local players to clubs in Portugal, Angola and Germany.

The club’s owner and coach, Helmuth Scharnowski is currently in Germany luring more sponsors for the club and opening channels for most of his players, according to Straumus.

He said, “It is upon his return in August that a lot of players will be signed and from there on we will start making serious training sessions to acquaint the new players of the Civics style of play. At the moment everyone has been concentrating on Cosafa but now it’s over and our club is back to business.”

Civics have been dominating the local premiership over the last two years and coach Scharnowski is now putting more attention on stamping a mark on the African continent.

Civics have taken over the reins of the premiership from Shepherd Murape’s Blue Waters who for the second year in succession , finished the league two points ahead the Bethlehem Boys.

The club had already targeted hardman, Hartman Toromba before South African side Black Leopards snatched the defender. With a knack of recruiting from players from Zimbabwe and Zambia, the Bethlehem boys say they will only get “the best of the best,” according to Straumus.

“We will take the best, be it from Malawi or from Zambia or even from the local premiership, but one must know that all that responsibility of recruiting Bethlehem Boys now lies with Carrera.”

July 2006
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