Sunday Chidzambwa will continue his dream of playing in the South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) next season when his charges Black Leopards take on Bay United in the first leg of the promotional play-offs Wednesday night.
The match, to be played at Gelvandale Stadium, starts at 730pm. The second leg is on Saturday at the Seshego Stadium in Polokwane.
Leopards beat Vasco Da Gama 3-1 in Cape Town last Saturday on aggregate while Bay beat Thanda Royal Zulu 4-1 to make the promotional final.
Chidzambwa has already played, and lost, to giants Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup and will relish a chance to slug it out with the big guns next season.
He will become the first Zimbabwean coach to achieve the goal of taking a lower division side to the PSL in his first year in charge, while others like the nomadic Shephered Murape have actually seen some of their teams demoted in the past.
Black Leopards influential playmaker Robert Ng’ambi will miss the match against Bay United but says his team can beat them.
“We have depth in this team and of course the team can play without me. It’s not like losing four or five players, just me,” he said about his suspension.
“These players can do the job and our aim is to win in Port Elizabeth, not get a draw.”
“I watched their game and their defence is very strong. It will be difficult to create chances but we can do it. They were very organised and strong, and going forward they were dangerous too. We know what to expect so it’s going to be tough.”
“They won their league and know what it takes to get up there. But we have experience also and will do our best to win.
“There are two games to go but we cannot sit back in either match, going for a win in each is important.”
What further motivates Chidzambwa is that next season he will be playing in the Caf Confederation Cup after club owner David Thidiela confirmed his team’s participation Tuesday.
They qualify by virtue of having reached the Nedbank Cup final and the fact that Pirates, the cup winners, also won the league title.
“We are definitely going to enter the Confederation Cup,” said Thidiela.
“We have a huge challenge facing us this week and our focus is on the two matches against Bay United. In truth, I would like the team to concentrate on the two games that are the biggest in our history.”
But Thidiela hinted that much as their objectives are to win promotion to the Premier division, he would also like to see his team taking part in the continental competition as it offered them an opportunity to market the Leopards brand across the continent.