Mochudi sharpen up for Dynamos

HARARE - Botswana champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Dynamos’ opponents in the first round of the African Champions League next month, have reinforced their squad for the continental test test by recalling three players from a Congolese club.

The trio of Penyo Mongala, Jerome Ramatlhakwane and Dirang Moloi were signed by DRC second-tier outfit Don Bosco last May on five-year contracts, but were reportedly unhappy at the Lubumbashi club, which is owned by the wealthy Moise Katumbe and serves as feeder to the diamond tycoon’s main club, TP Mazembe.

And with Dynamos and the Champions League in mind, Chiefs have grabbed the opportunity to strengthen their squad and have registered the three players for Africa’s premier club competition on loan deals.

All the three players previously plied their trade in the South African league.

Ramatlhakwane played an instrumental role in Botswana’s passage to their first ever African Nations Cup finals in 2012, netting five goals in the qualifiers.

Mongala, who has previously played for South African giants Orlando Pirates, made 16 appearances for Bloemfontein Celtics in the 2012-13 season on loan from the Bucs before returning home last year to briefly join Chiefs.

While Dynamos’ pre-season preparations have started on slow note, the Botswana league is currently in full swing, giving the Gaborone club a slight edge on Dynamos in terms of match fitness and preparedness.

The record 20-time Zimbabwean champions will start at home against Mochudi on the weekend of February 7 to 9 before playing the second leg away the following weekend.

If DeMbare overcome Chiefs over the two legs, they will meet the winner between Nigeria’s Kano Pillars and DRC’s Vita Club of Kinshasa.

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