Platinum date Zanaco

HARARE - FC Platinum will step up their pre-season training with a match against Zambian champions Zanaco on February 2 in Lusaka.

The Zambian champions are currently in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s capital were they are expected to play friendlies against CS Don Bosco and FC Lupopo respectively.

They will complete their three series on friendlies by facing the Zvishavane based side next month in Lusaka.

The Keagan Mumba-coached side is using the matches to sharpen their arsenal ahead of their African Champions League sojourn.

FC Platinum public relations officer Chido Chizvondo yesterday confirmed that the friendly against the Lusaka-based side was on the table.

Zanaco club chairman Edward Mutale told the Zambia’s Daily Mail on Friday that he was confident the friendly matches will help the technical bench mould a formidable side capable of challenging for African Safari honours.

Zanaco face Swaziland side Mbabane Swallows in the African Champions League preliminary round next month.
The winner of that tie will progress to play either Soweto giants Orlando Pirates or Comoros champions Djabal in March in the first round.

If Mumba’s side see off the hurdle of Mbabane Swallow it will be a monumental achievement for the Zambia National Commercial Bank-sponsored side as it will end Zanaco’s 11-year winless record against Swazi opposition.

The friendly will also have its positives for FC Platinum, who are virtually building a team from scratch after ousting a sizeable number of their integral players from last season.

The match will also give the side’s new Zambian coach Tenant Chilumba a good feel of the potential of his side ahead of the 2013 Castle Lager Premiership season.

The Zvishavane platinum miners have this season kept their cards close to their chest desisting from elaborate spending and massive recruitment drives that yielded in little results for them in their first two years in the top flight league.

FC Platinum’s extravagant expenditure from seasons past draws distinct similarity with the opponents they will come up against next month in Lusaka.

Zanaco rise to prominence is that of a rags to riches tale.

After years of playing second fiddle to Green Buffaloes, Red Arrows, and City of Lusaka in the soccer-mad Copper-belt province, the Zanaco were transformed owing to the bank’s financial muscle and have gone onto to show just what money can do to football.

Whereas the traditional big teams have more or less died in Zambia, Zanaco, born in the 80s, have grown from strength to strength, and today they are one of the best teams in that country.

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