Mukudzei Chingwere, Harare Bureau
FORMER Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa is mourning about fatigue on his homecoming mission with Malawian football giants, Nyasa Big Bullets, to face FC Platinum in the first round, second leg tie of the Caf Champions League tomorrow at Barbourfields.
The 49-year-old left an indelible mark as arguable Zimbabwe’s finest coach of all-time, leading Dynamos to a trailblazing four league titles on the bounce before taking the Warriors to the 2017 Afcon finals. The former Dynamos trainer battles against Norman Mapeza’s men at Barbourfields, for the right to proceed to the next stage of Africa’s premier club competition.
The game is evenly poised after it ended 0-0 in first leg encounter played in Malawi a fortnight ago. But Pasuwa is assured of a long afternoon in Bulawayo as he arrived yesterday in the City of Kings with an exhausted squad which travelled by road from Malawi.
They left Blantyre on Wednesday by road, had a stopover in Harare and conducted a loosening training session before progressing to Bulawayo.
Pasuwa has complained about fatigue and fears Malawian international forward, Chiukepo Msowoya might not make it for the big game after sustaining a hamstring strain. “So far so good but fatigue, we trained in the morning and you could see the legs are heavy, but we are trying our best to see how we can manage this with the doctors,” he said in Harare yesterday before departing for Bulawayo.
“We have one player Chiukepo Msowoya he could not train, he only got involved for two to three minutes, he is down with a hamstring injury and that is a setback on our side. But the other 21 guys we brought I think they are okay we will have to see tomorrow at training. Today we trained on a grass pitch just like Barbourfields and you could see the players are trying to adapt, the ball was moving slowly.
“But we hope by Saturday the boys will be fresh enough to do the job,” said Pasuwa.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum arrived in Bulawayo yesterday after a short trip from Zvishavane and are largely expected to make lightweights of the Malawians.
In competitions like these, those with better leagues usually win in continental matches, and the Zimbabwean league is by far arguably better than the Malawian.
The miners also now have vast experience of international football which gives them the advantage against their youthful opponents.