BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC PLATINUM gaffer Heindrikus Pieter de Jongh has targeted teams from Mozambique, Zambia and Eswatini for friendly matches in a bid to enhance his players’ match fitness ahead of the resumption of the 2020/2021 Caf Champions League next month.
The platinum miners are likely to plunge into the continent’s premier club competition ill-prepared as they have not played competitively since March.
The Zimbabwean champions have only been allowed to do group trainings, but remain prohibited from playing friendly matches, with domestic football resumption still unclear.
Their hope for preparatory matches with local teams seems shattered as the teams are still to get the greenlight on when to resume training, let alone start playing friendlies.
And with less than a month before the preliminary round, De Jongh feels his squad needs to be put to test before facing champions from other countries.
De Jongh admitted yesterday that he was at crossroads as he was deprived of an opportunity to gauge his side’s match preparedness.
He told NewsDay Sport that he was currently negotiating a friendly match with a team he refused to name in his quest to determine the pedigree of his squad.
“It is a big problem that we do not have the permission to play local friendly games. We play only 11-11 with our own players, so there is no real test since we started training. It is not the same as a real friendly with worthy opponents.
“We are now looking abroad for friendly games because there is no hope for playing matches with local team,” he said.
Meanwhile, the draws for the preliminary rounds are scheduled to take place after the 2019/2020 Champions League finals.