Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
Caps United in-form forward Abbas Amidu says the success of his former teammate and friend Khama Billiat, who won the CAF Champions League with Mamelodi Sundown last year, is motivating him to be a better player.
Amidu is thriving at the Green Machine this year.
The forward is expected to play a key role in Caps United’s campaign in the Champions League group phase which gets underway tomorrow night with a date against Egyptian giants Zamalek in Alexandria.
Speaking before the team’s departure at Harare International Airport yesterday, Amidu revealed he has drawn a lot of motivation from his friend Billiat’s achievements.
The Caps United squad was given a rousing send-off at the airport by scores of their fans while the club’s former president Twine Phiri was also there to wish the team well.
“Khama Billiat’s success has motivated me. We played together at Aces. We are also friends outside the pitch, so his success has motivated me and I also want to do very well in my career,” said Amidu.
“I am quite happy with where I am right now but at the same time, I want to be consistent. It is a dream come true for every professional footballer to feature in such tournaments.’’
Warriors defender Hardlife Zvirekwi said they want to make history.
“We will give them the respect they deserve but we want to make history. The journey started last year and we don’t want it to just stop now. We are prepared to fight.
“The coaches have prepared us well mentally and to be on the lookout of some mind games from our opposition.
‘’It is not going to be easy but we are ready and we have prepared. We have to keep our concentration levels high for the 90 plus minutes until the referee says its over,” he said.
Forward Tafadzwa Rusike said they were going to Egypt with a lot of confidence.
The former Ajax Cape Town man is making his third trip to Egypt.
He first went with Makepekepe in 2009 when Caps United were playing ENPPI in the Confederation Cup.
He later returned with the national team.
“”Right now our confidence is high. Even at training the morale is high and everyone is confident. We are a small team which Zamalek doesn’t know and I think that can work in our favour.
“We know how good they are. We saw them against Mamelodi Sundowns and no one gave Sundowns a chance but they surprised everyone” said Rusike.
Meanwhile, Nigerian striker Abasirim Chidiebere arrived in the country yesterday and declared he is here to show his class and add value to Caps United.
The forward, who was playing for Tanzanian outfit Stand United for the past two seasons, was welcomed by the club director Farai Jere.
Jere was set to fly last night and join his team which left on an earlier flight to Egypt.
“I felt happy when I was told that I was going to Zimbabwe. I have been in Tanzania for the past five years but I got an opportunity to come to Zimbabwe and show my talent.
“I can do more for Caps United. I am here to help the team take the league title again.
“I am confident that I can fit into the team. I have seen Caps United playing in the Champions League and I am sure I can fit into the team and into their play.
“It is my first time here but I believe there is a first time for everything and I can go places with this team,” he said.
The player will link up with the rest of the team when they return from Egypt.
He becomes the second player from West Africa to join the champions.
Ghanaian forward Wilson Andoh arrived last week and has been training with the team.
Another player from Ghana, Richard Addai, is scheduled to arrive at the end of the week.
The deals are being facilitated by leading player agent George Deda who has been busy trying to ensure Caps United compete very well in the Champions League.
Deda told our sister paper The Herald local clubs should bring in more players from West Africa to ensure the quality of the domestic Premiership improves.
“There are many players who are good out there and can help our clubs become better and draw fans back to the stadiums,’’ said Deda.
‘’Remember when George Owusu came here, he was virtually unknown back home in Ghana but that all changed with the way he played in the Champions League.
‘’I am ready to help any club that wants quality players.’’