BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC Platinum talisman Rodwell Chinyengetere says their lack of fitness and little preparation time for the 2021/22 edition of the Caf Champions League had reduced their chances of defeating Angolan giants GD Segrada Esperanca who they face next month in the preliminary round.
While the ghosts of their last visit to Luanda, Angola in 2018 when they were pummeled by Primiero de Agosto are still haunting them, at this point the real challenge that besets the club is lack of match fitness.
The problems that they have are not of their own making after the Sports and Recreation Commission took its time to approve FC Platinum’s request to start training early.
They have not played competitive football for the last six weeks and have also not been allowed training during the period.
Coach Norman Mapeza’s charges only got back together as a group on Monday to start preparations some two weeks before they plunge into action.
The Zvishavane-based side will have to negotiate a difficult terrain in their bid to do better in this competition where they have struggled to get past the group stages.
Chinyengetere believes they face a mammoth task ahead of them, although he is confident that Mapeza will oil the squad to grind respectable results.
“The strategies and plans lie in the coach’s hands, our role is to work according to those instructions,” he said. “But we have not been playing competitive games and do not have enough training time left.
“This makes it difficult to judge from the previous experiences, the circumstances were totally different then.”
Their last trip to Angola in this same tournament in 2018 was forgettable after it ended in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Primiero de Agosto.
They lost 5-1 on aggregate, with Chinyengetere scoring their consolation goal at Mandava Stadium in the return leg which they lost 2-1.
The former Baroka FC attacker said he was expecting a tough challenge from GD Segrada Esperanca.
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