TRIANGLE BRACE FOR CONTINENTAL FOOTBALL

Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
TRIANGLE coach Taurayi Mangwiro says his team is ready to compete when they make their CAF Confederation Cup debut campaign this weekend.

The Lowveld won the right to represent Zimbabwe by winning the Chibuku Super Cup last year.

They host little-known Burundian opponents Rukinzo Football Club in the preliminary round at Barbourfields on Sunday.

FC Platinum are set to leave for Malawi today for their fourth CAF Champions League campaign which starts this Saturday against Callisto Pasuwa’s Nyasa Big Bullets in Blantyre.

Mangwiro told The Herald his team was ready to make a big splash.

“It’s just a little disappointing that we are not able to play our games at our Gibbo home ground,’’ he said.

“All the same, we feel comfortable playing at Barbourfields. We aim to have, at least, two training sessions there and, hopefully, we will not be found wanting on Sunday.

“Generally, everyone is excited to be involved in a competition of this magnitude. We know it’s not easy to get such opportunities to represent the country so we would want to maximise on this chance.

“It’s a chance for our players to showcase their talent on the continent.

“We would want to do well and stay in there as much as possible. Our aim is to go as far as we possibly can. We are not in this competition to make the numbers, we are here to compete.

“I am sure we will give a good fight, without unnecessarily having to raise expectations to unrealistic levels.”

However, most of the players in the Lowveld side lack experience at continental level.

They beefed up their squad by bringing on board veteran forward Allen Tavarwisa and left-back Brian Chikwenya.

“We are very much satisfied with our new signings. Allen and Brian are two experienced players and we are confident they will bring a positive influence in the team.”

FC Platinum spokesperson Chido Chizondo said the Zimbabwe champions are expected to leave for Malawi today for the preliminary round tie against Big Bullets.

FC Platinum lost five players who played a key part in last year’s campaign who include Edwin Madhananga, Kelvin Moyo, Elvis Moyo and Ali Sadiki.

But they have welcomed back former star player Rodwell Chinyengetere, who returned to the club after a short spell at South African Premiership side Baroka.

“We are going to leave tomorrow for Lilongwe and then travel to Blantyre on Friday. Obviously, the team will have the chance to train at the match venue in the afternoon,” said Chizondo.

Pasuwa told the Big Bullets website that he was relishing the clash against a team from his home country and coached by his childhood friend Mapeza.

“I grew up together with Norman in the same neighbourhood and we played together. It’s like we are brothers both on and off the field.

“But that counts less in a game of football. He is a good coach and I respect him a lot, so it will be fireworks in that fixture,” said Pasuwa.

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