Sofakapa step up preps

HARARE - FC Platinum's opponents in the African Confederation Cup preliminary round, Kenyan side Sofakapa FC, have stepped up their preparations for the tie.

The platinum miners, who are Zimbabwe’s sole representative in Confederation of African Football (Caf) inter-club competitions in 2015, travel to Kenya for the first leg on the weekend of February 13-15.

Sofakapa will then travel to Zvishavane for the second leg two weeks later with the winner of the tie scheduled to meet the victorious team from the preliminary round tie pitting Tanzania’s Young Africans and Botswana Defence Forces.

Sofakapa, who are known as Batoto ba Mungu in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), are participating in the Confed Cup following their triumph in the Gotv Shield competition in 2014.

The KPL is on off-season following the completion of the 2014 season in November and after a long break Sofakapa began pre-season training some two weeks ago to prepare for Platinum.

“We have picked well. The players are coming in well with training and we have not seen any effect on their fitness level after the long holiday. We hope it stays this way until our first leg continental match,” Sofakapa assistant coach David Ouma told at the weekend.

Ouma was in charge of the team during the first part of the pre-season training as head coach Sam Timbe only joined the team last Thursday after an extended holiday.

Batoto ba Mungu had a memorable 2014 season but were piped to the KPL title by Gor Mahia by only three points.

The Kenyan side have beefed up their squad by adding former Rwanda captain Mutuyimana Moussa, former Gor Mahia midfielder Kevin Omondi, Nakuru All Stars midfielder Erastus Mwaniki and former Chemelil Sugar defender Willis Ouma to their 2015 squad.

Platinum won the right to represent Zimbabwe in the Confed Cup after winning the 2014 Chibuku Super Cup following a penalty shoot-out victory over Harare City.

Norman Mapeza has kept faith with majority of the players from last season with the Zvishavane-based side only adding former Black Rhinos forward Brian Muzondiwa and Shabanie Mine midfielder Wellington Kamudyariwa.

They however, lost left-back Qadr Amin, who they had already registered for the Confed Cup, to defending champions Dynamos.

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