BY HENRY MHARA IN LILONGWE, MALAWI
FC PLATINUM returning midfielder Rodwell Chinyengetere delights at his return to the club and is determined to guide the team to meet their target of defending the league title as well as reaching the group stages of the Caf Champions League.
On the domestic scene, the Zvishavane-based side are currently top of the log standings and begin their campaign in the African Safari with a tricky preliminary round fixture away to Nyasa Big Bullets in Blantyre tomorrow. The Malawi team is coached by former Warriors and Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa.
Chinyengetere is back at Fc Platinum on loan from Baroka FC until the end of the season. After enduring a frustrating six month spell at the South African league side, Chinyengetere is desperate to impress especially in the Champions League and try to revive his career.
“I’m happy to be back at Fc Platinum, and like every other player, I’m delighted to play in the Caf Champions League. Personally, it’s a challenge to do well, from the past experience I had here. I’m just hoping all will go well in this campaign,” Chinyengetere said.
“It’s every player’s wish to participate in this competition because there are chances that if you do well you can get offers from outside the country because a lot of people will be watching. In my case, I’m not trying to prove anything. I will try to improve my football. I will try to do what I know best and what will come afterwards is God’s will.”
Chinyengetere left the country in December last year after winning Player of the Year award twice running, but he failed to establish himself in the South African league. At 30, this might be his final chance to impress and get another contract outside.
“Given that my stay outside was not rosy I feel this is a chance to show everyone that I can play football well. I will try to express myself on the pitch and everything else will follow.”
A lot has changed at FC Platinum since Chinyengetere left. Key players like the Moyo twins Kevin and Elvis, Farai Madhanhanga, Ali Sadiki and Godknows Murwira have all left, leaving the team appearing weak.
“Obviously when there is a change there are other things that get affected in a negative way. But I’m one of the senior players who is back at the club and I want to quickly gel with my teammates, some who I left here. We will try to help the new boys and the youngsters and tell them what is needed to play at this stage.”
He also admitted that the squad looks weak on paper, but feels that the players are capable of reaching the team’s targets.
“It might not be the same squad and the same strength compared to the previous squad, but you may never know with football. I can see that these youngsters, if given a chance, they are willing to work so it’s a matter of helping, guiding and encouraging each other and we will see how it goes. But what I can assure is that everyone is ready to play and fight for this brand.”
FC Platinum’s weekend opponent is coached by Pasuwa, who hardly lost to the platinum miners during his stay at Dynamos. Chinyengetere is worried.
“Nyasa being coached by a Zimbabwean is going to help them. Pasuwa knows our type of play so it’s a challenge, but that we are looking forward to. As players we are ready and prepared no matter how the opposition coach knows our type of football. We will go out there, express ourselves and try to get a desired result.”