Chicken Inn embrace anti-FC Platinum tag

HARARE - Chicken Inn coach Joey “Mafero” Antipas wants his side to challenge reigning champions FC Platinum for the title when the Castle Lager Premiership commences on March 30.

The Gamecocks finished the 2018 season in third place some 21 points behind the back-to-back champions FC Platinum.

For some period along the campaign, the Bulawayo-based side looked as the only other team besides Ngezi Platinum Stars to try and catch Pure Platinum Play at the top of the table.

However, they both failed to stop Norman Mapeza’s men from collecting their second consecutive domestic title.

Ngezi Platinum’s chances of another shot at the title have been largely hampered by a disruptive transfer window which has seen some of their established stars agitating for moves away from Baobab Stadium.

This leaves Chicken Inn in the eyes of many observers as the best placed team to challenge FC Platinum for the title.

Antipas has already reinforced his side after adding former Ngezi
Platinum forward Clive Augusto and Bulawayo City midfielder Sipho Ndlovu.

Former Dynamos winger Panashe Mutasa and midfielder Bret Amidu have also switched base to Bulawayo.

“We are a team that is always challenging for titles and we will try our best to challenge for the league this season,” Antipas told the Daily News.

“We have to work a little bit harder though if we are to reach the
levels of FC Platinum because they are a really good team.

“Last season was not bad but we did not reach our potential. The wheel fell off towards the end of the season when we had a bad patch. I remember we failed to get in four straight matches; that killed us.”

Antipas believes he needs to have players that are prepared to die on the pitch if they are to get closer to Pure Platinum Play.

“We need players who fight hard and we must be consistent as well if we are to win the championship,” he said.

“You have to grind results at times something we failed to do in those four matches. That is, however, something FC Platinum did very well.

“If you want to win the championship, you have to stay in there and be consistent all the time. Like they say, ‘you have to be in it, to win it’.”

Antipas, who won the title with Motor Action in 2010 and with the Gamecocks in 2015, reckons besides his side, there are other teams that have stepped up their game in order to challenge the champions.

“The other teams are doing some good business in the transfer market I must admit,” he said.

“FC Platinum have basically kept the squad that won them the title for the last two years and they have made some additions.

“But if you look at Bosso, they have got most of their squad from last season and they have added a few new faces so they are going to be strong contenders as well.

“Ngezi now have got Elroy Akbay in there and they have basically retained their squad from last season so they will be strong as well.

“Other teams need to step up so that it does not end up like a two-horse race just like in the English Premier League teams.”

Antipas was speaking to the Daily News just a few days after returning from Germany where he had attended a three-week long attachment with Bundesliga club Werder Bremen.

The Bundesliga and the local Premiership are two worlds apart but Antipas hopes he can apply some of the things he learned here.

“I had a chance to get to see the modern and latest trends in coaching; it was a real eye-opener,” he said.

“Their training methods were excellent; they do things in a different way from here. Hopefully, I can be able to implement some of the things in our training here.”

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