Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
A DAY before their opening Total Caf Group B encounter at Barbourfields Stadium, national champions FC Platinum have saluted Bulawayo football fans and the nation at large for the support that they have been giving them since the match was switched from Mandava Stadium.
Pure Platinum Play take on Absa Premiership giants and 1995 Caf Champions League winners Orlando Pirates at Emagumeni tomorrow afternoon in a game that will also be beamed live on Supersport.
The Sea Robbers are expected to touch down at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport today before having a feel of the match venue later this afternoon.
FC Platinum arrived in Bulawayo on Tuesday evening and have so far conducted three closed door training sessions with head coach Norman Mapeza telling the boys to go out and enjoy the big stage game tomorrow. They wind up their training programme this morning before getting ready for the duel.
In an interview yesterday, the club’s public relations officer Chido Chizondo said while they are geographically not at home, they were not feeling it with the warmth and support that the team has been receiving from the generality of Zimbabweans from across the footballing divide.
“We have seen a lot of hype and for us it only means Zimbabweans are very patriotic and we feel humbled. A lot of support messages on social and mainstream media have been coming through and we can only say thank you Bulawayo, thank you Zimbabwe for this patriotism,” said Chizondo.
She said the boys were naturally excited about the match but were not taking anything for granted hence their preparations have been thorough.
“The team is excited but they are also not taking Orlando Pirates for granted and as such they are putting all their energy towards the match. Preparations have really been going on well so far despite the fact that we are away from Zvishavane and once again we really would like to humble ourselves from the support, the
City of Kings and Queens have warmly embraced us and we say thank you,” said Chizondo.
After the Sea Robbers clash, FC Platinum fly out to Tunisia to take on defending champions Esperance next weekend.
“Tentatively we fly out on Tuesday morning,” said Chizondo.