Mapeza's FC Platinum handed tricky draw

HARARE - FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza welcomed the African Champions League draw which saw the reigning Castle Lager Premiership champions being handed a relatively tough route to reach the group stages of the tournament.

According to the draw conducted by the Confederation of African Football in Cairo, Egypt yesterday, the platinum miners will first have to negotiate their way past Angola’s Desportivo 1ero Agosto.

Norman Mapeza

Norman Mapeza

Should the Zvishavane-based side prevail over Desportivo, they will then face the winner between South Africa Absa Premiership side Bidvest Wits and Pamplemousses of Mauritius to make it to the group stages.

The Students,  are no pushovers while Pamplemousses, who were knocked out of the Confederation Cup first round by Ngezi Platinum Stars earlier this year, cannot be underrated. 

Mapeza says adequate preparations will be vital if his team is to succeed.

“I can’t say much because we have little information on this team from Angola. But hey, that’s why it’s the Champions League you cannot choose who to play against,” Mapeza said.

“I think what is important now is for us to prepare well. We will have to dig deep and gather enough information on our opponents so that we will not be surprised. I think it’s a fair draw though tricky.”

The platinum miners are currently seized with finalising their squad to secure all their transfer targets ahead of the Caf registration deadline which falls on December 31.

Defender Lawrence Mhlanga, who was subjected to a protracted wrangle between Pure Platinum Play and Chicken Inn, could finally be available to play for the Zvishavane-based side after spending the entire 2017 season in the terraces.

Ngezi Platinum Stars midfielder Liberty Chakoroma is also reportedly to be angling for a move to FC Platinum.