Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has cut short his sick leave to prepare his team’s return to the African safari for the Caf Champions League preliminary round first-leg encounter against Nyasa Big Bullets in Malawi on Saturday.
Nyasa Big Bullets are coached by former Warriors and Dynamos coach Kalisto Pasuwa.
Mapeza had been absent from the team’s dugout, with assistant coach Lizwe Sweswe taking charge of two Premiership games.
“Yes the coach is back and has resumed his duties. He returned yesterday (Monday) and is now in charge of the team as we prepare for our Champions League away to the Malawi champions,” said the Zvishavane-based side’s public relations officer Chido Chizondo.
Pure Platinum Play are tentatively set to fly out to Blantyre tomorrow, but there are plans to leave for Harare this morning to train on an artificial turf on which Saturday’s game will be played..
The return leg is set for Barbourfields Stadium over the weekend of August 23-25, unless there is a late change of venue, with Mandava Stadium being homologated to play host to Caf games.
If they pull through the preliminary stage, they will clash with the winner between Tanzania’s Simba Stars and Uniao Desportiva do Songo of Angola in the last and final qualifying round before the group stages of the tournament.
Barbourfields Stadium is set to be a hive of international matches this August, as Triangle United have also chosen it for the Caf Confederation matches where they play host to Burundi side Rukinzo in the first-leg of the first round this Sunday.
If the Lowveld-based side manages to sail into the last and final round in their maiden appearance in the competition, they are likely to meet either Fasil Kenema Sport Club of Ethiopia or Bruce Kangwa’s Azam of Tanzania in what will be an emotional return to Emagumeni for Kangwa.
Gate charges for Triangle United’s match this Sunday have been pegged at $10 for rest of the ground, $20 wings and $50 for a place in the VIP grandstand and VIP enclosure.
“Come and witness the sweetness of sugar sugar boys @CAF_Media @CAF_Online @salloant @Highlandersfczw @BulawayoChiefs @bchivenge @CHICKENINNFC1,” wrote Triangle United on their Twitter handle.