THE country’s Caf Champions League representatives Chicken Inn are intensifying their preparations for the competition when they participate in a five-day invitational tournament in Zambia.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The Joey Antipas-coached side is expected to leave for Lusaka today for the four-team tournament, which starts on Wednesday and ends on Sunday at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Chicken Inn host South African giants Mamelodi Sundowns in the preliminary round first leg of the Caf Champions League at Luveve Stadium on the weekend of February 12-14, before the second leg in Pretoria two weeks later.
The tournament will feature Chicken Inn, Zambian champions Zesco, Zanaco and Tanzanian side Azam FC.
The Gamecocks’ spokesperson, Tavengwa Hara yesterday confirmed the team’s itinerary.
“The head of delegation is Mlungisi Moyo (treasurer) and they will hit the road to Victoria Falls tomorrow (today) and then to Livingstone and then direct to Ndola. Zesco, who have invited us to the tournament to be monitoring the team as soon as they get into Zambia and will take care of the logistics in Ndola,” he said.
The tournament will be played in a league format, will measure Chicken Inn’s preparedness ahead of the Brazilians match.
The reigning Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions will begin their tournament with a match against Zanaco on Wednesday, before taking on Azam three days later and will conclude the tournament with what promises to be a thrilling match against Zesco on Sunday.
Antipas is travelling with a squad of 22 players that excludes goalkeeper Elvis Chipezeze, defender Lawrence Mhlanga and strikers Edmore Chirambadare and Moses Demera, who are on national duty in Rwanda.
Also not part of the squad is skipper Danny “Deco” Phiri, defender Teenage Hadebe and veteran midfielder, Clemence Matawu who are recovering from injuries.
Fixtures: Wednesday: Zanaco v Chicken Inn (1pm), Azam v Zesco (3pm)
Saturday: Chicken Inn v Azam (1pm), Zesco v Zanaco (3pm)
Sunday: Zesco v Chicken Inn (1pm), Zanaco v Azam (3pm)
Goalkeepers: Pride Zendera, Wandile Ndlovu
Defenders: Ben Nyahunzvi, Brian Mbiriri, Devine Lunga, Guide Goddard, Moses Jackson, Passmore Bernard, Amos Ncube
Midfielders: Bhekimpilo Ncube, Brian Juru, Canaan Nkomo, George Majika, Nicholas Muchadeyi, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Thabani Goredema, Thulani Nxusani
Strikers: David Temwanjira, Ismael Lawe, Mitchelle Katsvairo, Physwell Madhazi, Obediah Tarumbwa