NGEZI Platinum will play SuperSport United and Bidvest Wits in South Africa in the next two weeks as part of their pre-season preparations.
The Mhondoro Ngezi-based side, who finished runners-up last season, want to go a step further this season and win the most coveted prize.
To prepare for the lofty target that they have set themselves, the Erol Akbay-coached side will travel down South for a pre-season camp.
Club chief executive officer Nyasha Kadenge announced the trip in a statement at the weekend, and confirmed they will play three friendly matches against league side from that country.
He did not reveal the names of the opponents, but a source told NewsDaySport yesterday that the team will play SuperSport and Bidvest Wits.
Negotiations are still ongoing with Baroka United for another match, according to the source.
“Ngezi Platinum Stars Football Club is taking its pre-season preparations a gear up and will be travelling to Rustenburg, South Africa for its pre-season camp. With the team looking forward to a very competitive season and to gain regional exposure as they prepare for the season, the team will be spending time at Royal Marang High Performance Centre in Rustenburg. Royal Marang High Performance Centre is renowned for its state of the art facilities and the team executive sees this as a good opportunity to ensure the team gets into good shape for the season,” said Kadenge in a statement.
Royal Marang High Perfomance Centre hosted England squad during the 2010 World Cup.
Akbay was hired this season by the ambitious club to take over from Tonderai Ndiraya, who was released at the end of last season, and the Dutchman has been given a target to win the premier league or also face the chop.
“Akbay’s vision for the team is to build a strong attacking team and ensure the games are faster paced. Training at the High Performance Centre will provide a good opportunity to augment the team’s strengths for the season. With new coaches on board and new team members, the pre-season camp provides an ideal environment for team building, improving mental and physical preparedness.
“For the pre-season camp, the team will also get an opportunity to play three South African Premier League teams, which will test the team’s preparedness, mental, tactical and physical strength. With the team’s vision for junior development, the camp will also provide the team administration an opportunity to benchmark with some of the leading clubs in the ABSA premiership. The administration team will be starting off the season well-equipped and ready to carry the season’s goals,” added Kadenge.
Akbay has been forced to rebuild the side after losing some key players from last season’s squad including Godknows Murwira, Tichaona Chipunza, Clive Augusto and goalkeeper Donovan Bernard.
Source : NewsDay