THE country’s Orange Caf Confederation Cup representatives How Mine reckon they will stand the heat when they venture into Africa next year as they host little-known Zanzibari Chuoni FC during the preliminary round first leg of continental cup in February next year.
FORTUNE MBELE,SPORTS REPORTER
How Mine suffered a 3-0 debilitating defeat to Highlanders in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final last month, the cup that qualifies local clubs’ participation in the Confederation Cup and the gold miners became eligible as Highlanders are still serving a Caf ban.
Head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube yesterday welcomed the draw against the Zanzibari side, but he still had to do some research on the club from off the coast of Tanzania.
“It was a fair draw and it will be a learning curve for us. A draw is a draw and once it has been conducted you have to fulfil those fixtures, but honestly I don’t have any information that club and I don’t have any idea of how competitive the league in Zanzibar is. We will stand the heat because we need to write our own piece of history,” Beefy said.
The 2008 Coach of the Year with Njube Sundowns, who engineered wins over giants Dynamos and Caps United to cruise through to the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup, said he was still finalising his squad for the continental showcase.
How Mine have to submit their final squad before the Caf deadline of December 31.
“We are still putting final touches to the squad and we are not going to release the names of the players that we will be registering for the tournament for now because that could jeopardise our negotiations with some players,” Beefy said.
How Mine have already written a piece of history locally, becoming one of the first teams to venture into Africa, just after a single season in the Premier Soccer League.
The Metallon Gold-sponsored How Mine beat Highlanders both at home and away in the league, beat Dynamos at Luveve and venture into the jungles of Africa with a
$110 000 subsidy from Mbada Diamonds.
Hwange represented the country in the same tournament last year, beating Jamhuri of Zanzibar 4-1 at home and 3-0 away to secure 7-1 aggregate win in the preliminary round, but bowed out in the first round losing on away goals rule to Al Amal Atbara of Sudan.
The coal-miners drew 1-1 with Al Amal Atbara at the Colliery and settled for a 0-0 draw in Sudan.
How Mine have in their squad the likes of Hebert Dick, Gilbert Banda, Menard Mupera, goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura, Simba Sithole, Simon Njeleza, Nqobile Mpala and chairman Mlondolozi Nkomo on Monday said they would be making a few additions to their squad.
They also have Caps United midfielder Tendai Samanja on their radar.