Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THREE new faces trained with FC Platinum on Saturday as they resumed the 2020 pre-season preparations as well as the return leg of their Total Caf Champions League Group B encounter against Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
The return leg is set for Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.
Manica Diamonds attacking midfielder Stanley Ngala, ZPC Kariba’s Jimmy Gwara and Hwange left-back Nomore Chinyerere went through their paces with the rest of the Pure Platinum Play lads under the watchful eyes of coach Lizwe Sweswe and his assistant Patrick Mandizha.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Soccer Star of the Year second runner-up and Triangle United skipper Ralph Kawondera is expected to join the Zvishavane-based miners this week, as Sweswe seeks to fortify his squad following the departure of six senior players, whose contracts were not renewed.
Goalkeeper Wallace Magalane, holding midfielder Devon Chafa, attacking midfielders Charles Sibanda and Rodwell Chinyengetere as well as forwards Albert Eonde and Mkhokheli Dube left FC Platinum.
“At the moment we have no official comment regarding incoming players until after our match against Al Ahly. Our focus now is the match and nothing else, so I can’t confirm anything that you are asking about now,” said FC Platinum media and communications officer Chido Chizondo.
However, some players that spoke to Chronicle Sport confirmed the trio’s attendance on Saturday.
“We trained with the new guys on Saturday as we resumed our preparations and I understand Ralph will be joining us this week,” said one player.
Pure Platinum Play are still searching for a maiden Champions League mini-league win, having managed just two points in the previous edition. They have lost all their three games in the present edition, 1-2 away to Al Hilal of Sudan, 0-3 to Tunisian side Etoile Du Sahel and 0-2 to eight-time Champions League winners Al Ahly, to remain rooted at the bottom of the group. The other three sides in the group all have six points, with three rounds of matches remaining.
The Zimbabwe champions have been victims of their own failure to turn ball possession dominance into goals, while their opponents have been emphatic in front of goal.