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MBABANE – It’s only three weeks before the MTN Premier League 2021/22 kicks off next month – most teams are already in preseason preparations.

However, giants Mbabane Highlanders are among very few that are yet to resume preseason despite that the season kick-off date has been set by the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE). Fixtures have been leaked to this publication as reported on Monday, the grand opening pitting reigning champions Royal Leopard against bitter rivals Mbabane Swallows, while Highlanders take on  last season’s runners-up, Young Buffaloes who are playing in the TOTALEnergies CAF Confederation Cup against Zambia’s Red Arrows.

Buffaloes lost the first-leg away last Saturday with a narrow 2-1 margin and play the second-leg this weekend at Mavuso Sports Centre, Manzini. As most clubs have resumed preseason training, it has transpired that concerns have been raised by supporters at Highlanders over the delay. “This means our team will go straight into competition and against a team that has not rested and playing very tough international games. It’s practically two weeks before the league starts because the final week is the one for playing. As supporters, we feel the players must return to training with the coach especially because they are also paid by the director. If we could, we’d request Kgomongwe to allow the coach and players to resume training soonest,” commented a supporter who is also close to the club’s structures.


Another said that their hope was on one senior official to communicate with Kgomongwe about resuming preseason. However, investigations to the panic reported to be engulfing the ‘Inkunz’emnyama’, showed that even some officials were also concerned about the late resumption of preseason and also wished Kgomongwe could travel to the country to also resolve some contractual issues for some players. No immediate comment could be obtained from the club’s National Supporters Committee (NSC) Chairman, Kenneth Dlamini. “The delay is about anything, but the team must register as a company,” Kgomongwe who was caught busy briefly responded when made aware of the panic in his club. He said that was what had to be fixed. The team’s supporters, through the NSC, gave their permission to have their beloved Highlanders become a company, joining Swallows and Wanderers. The matter was then to be deliberated upon by the Patrons and then pass the final decision to Kgomongwe.
Patrons Secretary Musa Masuku was not immediately available for comment. His cellphone rang unanswered while he also had not responded to a WhatsApp text on the subject.

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