CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League champions Ngezi Platinum Stars have vowed to host their Caf Champions League matches at Baobab Stadium next year.
The Mhondoro-Ngezi-based side are the country's representatives in the premier continental club competition after lifting their maiden league title in the just-ended season.
Ngezi Platinum Stars have been in Africa before, having participated in the Caf Confederations Cup competition in 2017 after scooping the 2016 Chibuku Super Cup.
However, they played both their home matches against Pamplemousses of Mauritius in the preliminary round and Angolan side Clube Recreativo Desportivo do Libolo in the first round at National Sports Stadium.
Ngezi Platinum beat Pamplemousses 2-1 on aggregate before crashing out by the same scoreline against Libolo of Angola.
The league winners want to upgrade their fortress, Baobab Stadium, to meet Caf standards so that they can enjoy home comfort.
“We want to make sure that we play all our Champions League games here at the Baobab Stadium. We don't want to shortchange our supporters by playing our games away so we will make sure that the games will be played here," vice-president Wadzanayi Mutsakanyi said at the trophy parade event yesterday.
“Our aim is to be one of the biggest teams in Southern Africa and Africa. We want to be spoken in the same breath with other African giants like Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa), Esperance of Tunisia and Al Ahly (Egypt). Those are some of the teams that we will be rubbing shoulders with starting August next year.
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“Winning the league title is just the beginning of our journey to conquer the Southern Africa region and ultimately the whole continent.”
Ngezi Platinum Stars celebrated winning their maiden league title by parading their trophy in a procession which began in Chegutuand passed through Selous and concluded in Mhondoro-Ngezi.
It was a moment to share their success with the community which they represent and community leaders such as Chief Nyika, Chief Benhura and Chief Ngezi attended the celebrations.
Apart from the league title, Madamburo received the award for the most disciplined team while their captain Qadr Amini scooped the Soccer Star of the Year accolade.
Young forward Takunda Benhura emerged the league's top scorer this season while coach Takesure Chiragwi won the Coach of the Year award.
The team also provided three players namely Amini, Benhura and goalkeeper Nelson Chadya on the Soccer Stars calendar.
Speaking at the event, Chiragwi gave credit for the team's success to assistant coach Clifton Kadurira.
“I want to give credit to coach Kadurira. I think he is the reason why we are here today. He is the one who began with the team in Division Two, brought it into Division One and helped the team gain promotion into the league.
“We work together very well. He is the one who produces all these young players. Players like Benhura, the league’s top scorer, is his product. He is older than me and he has agreed towork under me, and he respects me as well. I believe if we work together like that, we can achieve great things together," he said.
The club is set to host its end of year awards in Mhondoro-Ngezi today.