TP Mazembe flexes muscles

HARARE - CAPS United opponents in the final round of the Caf Champions League TP Mazembe, are already looking beyond the Zimbabwean champions after signing Belgian defender Antony Venden Borre from Anderlecht.

The 29-year-old, who was born in DR Congo and has a Congolese mother, completed a free transfer to the Lubumbashi-based this week but will not be available when the Green Machine travel to the Stade TP Mazembe for the first leg next weekend since the registration is closed.

Venden, could however, be available for selection if TP Mazembe progress to the group stages of the tournament. The deal was made possible by TP Mazembe owner and DRC chief opposition leader Moise Katumbi who is currently based in London. 

“The Belgian defender has given his agreement from Brussels where he is staying. He is expected in Lubumbashi at the end of the week to complete his transfer and put on the TPM jersey,” TP Mazembe confirmed.

Venden, whose most recent club was French side Montpelier and his career has included spells at Anderlecht, Genk (both Belgium), Fiorentina, Genoa (both Italy) and Portsmouth (England said he is delighted with the move.

“I’m still a footballer, always passionate about the sport and always eager for victories,” Venden said of his move to local media in DR Congo.

“At 29 years of age, I am far from retiring and I continue to aim at the summit, notably the national team return. I am now very anxious to resume playing as soon as possible – donning the TP Mazembe shirt that always made me dream.”

Mazembe recently roped in a new coach Thierry Froger to replace Hebert Velud, who joined Tunisian giants Etoil du Sahel and the Frenchman has wasted no time in establishing a reputation of being a strict disciplinarian in Lumbumbashi.

Froger, whose previous coaching experience in Africa was with Togo national team between 2010-2011, is eager to keep Mazembe’s winning culture in place.

CAPS are aware they need to go a gear up having been unconvincing when they overcame Lesotho champions Lioli FC in the preliminary round of the competition.

The Green Machine will travel to Lubumbashi for the first leg next weekend with the second leg scheduled for the National Sports Stadium the following weekend.

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