Motor Action coach Joey Antipas has stated his belief that his team has prepared adequately to face Dynamos in the NetOne Charity Shield match at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow than they did in last year’s edition of the same tournament.
In that forgettable match for Antipas, the Mighty Bulls thought they had done enough, rallying themselves from a 2-0 half-time deficit to force the match into penalties, but cruelly went on to lose 4-2 in the lottery.
Antipas, looking ahead to a match potentially to be very decisive in his career as Motor Action coach following the Black Leopards embarrassment in the Caf Confederations Cup a fortnight ago, said the team has learned from their own errors.
“Preparations are still going on, but I think we are getting there. We have one or two areas which I think need to be corrected and we still have the time to do so,” said Antipas yesterday.
Antipas was also encouraged by having an injury-free squad, although Reuben Machaya was said to be complaining of an ankle injury he sustained in South Africa. The coach though, stated the injury was not serious.
“We made a lot of mistakes against Leopards because some of our key men were missing. Everyone is back to normal now and I think we will give a good account of ourselves against Dynamos. It’s a season opener and we have to start on a positive note.
“I will not worry much on what has happened before, that’s history now. I will have to focus on the future. They beat us in last year’s match, but that does not guarantee that they will win this time around. It will be anyone’s game and the best team of the day will win,” added Antipas.
There had been worrying reports though in the Mighty Bulls’ pen, with information most of the players were yet to sign their contracts and might miss tomorrow’s match.
The Premier Soccer League requires all players who will feature in this match, which acts as a season opener, hold valid licences they will use for the rest of the league season.
Antipas acknowledged the problem, but refused to label it a crisis.
“It’s normal at the start of the season players negotiate with their teams for new contracts and that is what Motor Action is doing at the moment. All teams do that, that’s not new. I will have a clear picture of who is going to play, but not at the end of the day. We are still negotiating with the players and hopefully all will be well before the match.”
Dynamos coach Calisto Pasuwa on the other hand will want to use the match to finetune his squad ahead of the Caf Champions League, first round, first leg clash away to Mozambique’s Liga Muçulmana in a weeks’ time.
A win for Dynamos tomorrow will serve as a huge confidence booster for players ahead of the Muçulmana match.
The Dynamos gaffer had been complaining of his impotent strike force and this match will present him with the last chance to try different options upfront.
Winners of the match will go home $50 000 richer while losers will get half the prize money.
Fans wishing to watch the match will have to pay $3 for the Rest of the Ground section while those wishing to watch the match from Bays 15 to 18 will have to part with $10. VIP is strictly by invitation.