Zimbabwe’s 2010 Premier Soccer League champions Motor Action held their first training session at Callies Stadium on Tuesday as they stepped up preparations for their maiden African Champions League campaign at the end of the month.
The Mighty Bulls get their campaign underway with a date against little-known Cnaps of Madagascar in the preliminary round first leg tie at Rufaro Stadium during the weekend of January 28-30.
The players, including new signings, went through drills under the watchful eye of David George who was in charge in the absence of head coach Joey Antipas who is expected to join camp on Thursday.
Former Lengthens tough- tackling defender Godfrey Moyo, Shooting Stars midfielder Thembani Masuku, strikers Edmore Chitato (Kiglon) and Tawanda Nyamandwe (Monomotapa) and former Monomotapa left back Ocean Mushure were part of the squad that participated in yesterday’s training.
Striker Kudakwashe Musharu, also formerly with Monomotapa and the Kiglon duo of striker Martin Vengesai and goalkeeper Maxwell Nyamupangedengu were notable absentees.
Charles Sibanda, who was the leading light during the Mighty Bulls’ league campaign which they won at the expense of Dynamos last year and skipper Bhekimpilo Ncube also did not report for duty.
But George was satisfied with his first training session.
“For a first day it’s a good turn-out. We only have Charles Sibanda, Passmore Benard and Bhekimpilo Ncube who should be coming in tomorrow (Wednesday) from Bulawayo.
Musharu and Vengesayi are still sorting out a few issues and we expect them in as well,’ said George.
“It’s a balanced side. We have a mixture of youth and experience because most of the payers, especially those who were with Monomotapa, have tasted Champions League football and their experience will be very important for us in this campaign. Most of these players don’t know how it is to play at this level of the game. We have no knowledge of the Madagascar team. We don’t know each other so I think it’s a 50-50 affair.”
The Mighty Bulls captured eight players from Kiglon, Monomotapa, Lengthens and Shooting Stars whom they registered with the Confederation of African Football for this campaign.
But it is the arrival of strikers Nyamandwe, Musharu, Chitato and Vengesai which has boosted their attacking options.
Although Sibanda has been their leading goalscorer, he is at his best when attacking from behind while the likes of Enasio Perezo, Nyamandwe, Musharu and Chitato are good finishers.