FC PLATINUM jet off for the first leg of the Orange CAF Confederation Cup against Sofapaka FC of Kenya on Friday morning with the hope of scoring away goals to cushion them for the return leg.
BY THANDIWE MOYO
The Zvishavane team will take the 385km journey to Harare early that day where they are expected to connect to Nairobi, Kenya, the same morning.
Their flight aboard the Kenyan Airways is scheduled to take off at 11am and arrive around 4pm at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport.
FC Platinum media liaison officer Chido Chizondo said the team would leave early so as to acclimatise.
“We are leaving on Friday so that the players will get a day to get used to the place and get a feel of the weather which we understand is almost the same as here,” she said.
Sofapaka, short for Sote kama Familia kwa Pamoja Kuafikia Azimio which is Swahili means “We as a family together to achieve a goal”, are based in Nairobi and their home ground is Nyayo National Stadium which is a 30 000-seater.
Chizondo said the FC Platinum players were excited and looking forward to the match.
“There is excitement in the camp. We have not travelled as a team outside Zimbabwe since 2012 and the boys are excited and confident that they will do well in Kenya. The coaches are also hyped about the trip,” she said.
FC Platinum have been under the guidance of assistant Patrick Mandizha as head gaffer Norman Mapeza was attending the Caf A Licence Coaching Course in Harare.
Veteran skipper Thabani Kamusoko said they were hoping for a positive result.
Kamusoko played in the 2012 squad that bowed out in the second round of the competition to El Merreikh of Sudan under the guidance of Rahman Gumbo. Other players who were in the team include Daniel Veremu, Donald Ngoma and Allen Gahadzikwa.
FC Platinum acquired the services of Brian Muzondiwa, Emmanuel Mandiranga, Wellington Kamudyariwa and Nigel Papius.
Their opponents, the GOtv Shield Cup holders, will this evening take on Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia at the Nyayo National Stadium in the DStv Super Cup in what will be a curtain raiser for the 2015 season.
Gor begin their African Champions League campaign on Saturday at home to Madagascar’s champions CNaPS, while Sofapaka, who will be flying the country’s flag in the Caf Confederation Cup, will play host to FC Platinum of Zimbabwe on Sunday. Both matches will be played at Nyayo Stadium.
Sofapaka head into today’s contest as firm favourites judging by the solid display against visiting Zambian side Power Dynamos, whom they beat 1-0 Power Dynamos.
Power Dynamos, coached by former Platinum coach Tennant Chilumba, had been due to play the Zimbabwean side early last month, but the trip was called off.
Former Gor Mahia playmaker Kevin “Ade” Omondi swept home the lone goal that earned his side the morale-boosting win over the Zambians.