Rusike excited by Champions League debut

HARARE - New Dynamos midfielder Tafadzwa Rusike is relishing the chance to finally play in the African Champions League.

The former Ajax Cape Town winger, who joined the Harare giants as a free agent ahead of the 2014 season, has yet to play in Africa’s top club competition and is eager to prove his worth on the elite stage.

“I have never played in the Champions League and I can’t wait to be part of this Dynamos project,” Rusike told the Daily News yesterday at a luncheon to unveil the club’s squad for the new season.

“The players and everyone at the team received me nicely and they have made my stay easy.

“I am not yet 100 percent fit but I am working hard to get there.” 

Rusike also believes the Glamour Boys have enough depth to reach the later stages of the 2014 Champions League.

DeMbare face Botswana champions Mochudi Centre Chiefs in a preliminary round, first leg tie at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday as they begin another journey in the Africa’s premier club competition.

And Rusike, who could make his debut for DeMbare on Sunday, said the Zimbabwean champions should strive to go beyond the qualifying rounds following previous disappointments in the competition.

The ex-CAPS playmaker said Dynamos needed to maximise on home advantage and then wrap up the game when they travel to Botswana next weekend.

“We are aiming for a big win at home. We should score as many goals as possible because we don't know what will happen in the return leg.

‘I think everyone is ready for this match. We have had a good preparation and we have played some friendly matches as well. We have a strong squad and everyone is excited about the task ahead of us.

“Everyone is committed and working hard. If we can keep the same attitude then I don’t anything stop us from reaching the mini-league stages.

“I am happy we are starting at home because I think it is easier to play at home than away. I am sure a good victory on Sunday will give us the jump-start that we want.

“It’s always good to take the early advantage. We should make it difficult for them by getting a healthy win here. Otherwise pressure could be on us if we don't.”

The Harare giants have generally done well in the preliminary round qualifiers, but the past three years have seen them fail to make the group stages.

DeMbare have lost to North African opposition in the form of MC Algiers, Esperance and CA Bizertin in consecutive years in the last three seasons.

Botswana champions Chiefs are currently in second place on the log standings after 20 rounds of action in the be-Mobile League. Chiefs have 40 points and are trailing log leaders Township Rollers by just two points.

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