HERENTALS striker Tino Benza has outlined the team’s ambitions next season, vowing that the Students will go for the title. The Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva-coached team finished sixth on the log standings in the just-ended season, 15 points behind champions Ngezi Platinum.
The sixth place equalled their best finish in the league since their promotion into the top flight five years ago. A Chibuku Super Cup final appearance in 2022 was the closest the team came to winning a title in the topflight. Benza, one of the key players for Herentals, is happy how their season panned out for them and is convinced they will be in contention for all domestic titles next season.
He feels it will be a matter of consistency and hopes the club can find the right level to challenge the league and the Chibuku Super Cup titles next season.
“I’m definitely happy with how the season turned out,” Benza said.
“Obviously we could have done better in some games and sometimes we were just unlucky, but I’m really happy with what Herentals achieved this season.
“Next year we will definitely be going for the title. Also when Chibuku Super Cup comes we won’t go easy on it. We are going to do our best on both.”
The 22-year-old had an outstanding season, scoring six league goals and providing 11 assists, a huge improvement from the four he managed last term. His statistics make him a favourite to be voted as one of the 11 finalists for the Soccer Star of the Year award, whose votes will be cast today.
“My target was double-digit goals, but I’m still happy with six because they have been my most goals yet so far,” Benza said.
“I have been improving and training hard as well so I’m happy with what I achieved.”
Mutiwekuziva also praised his side for a good season. Herentals started the season slowly, and gradually picked up form. But three defeats in their last five games, including a dispiriting 3-1 loss to Caps United in their last game of the season on Sunday, saw their top four finish hopes evaporating.
“I wouldn’t want to discount anything from the boys. They have been good to me. They started slowly, but they picked up as the season progressed until the last few games,” Mutiwekuziva said.
“The major problem was with the away games. Travelling to Mandava for our home games was taxing for us, and consequently it reflected on our results. We didn’t do well in those games.
“In the matches we played in Harare we managed to collect maximum points. That was our biggest weakness but our season generally was good. The boys pushed hard and we finished in a very good position on the log. Our performance in the Chibuku Super Cup was not really good but the boys did their best to reach the quarterfinals.”