Mapeza rallies FC Platinum charges ahead of Mozambique test

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By Sports Reporter

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is targeting a positive start when his side kicks off its 2020-2021 CAF Champions League campaign with a tricky preliminary round first leg encounter against Mozambique champions Costa do Sol at the Zimpeto Stadium in Maputo on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference just before the team’s departure for Mozambique on Thursday, Mapeza said although he has had very little time with the team ahead of the encounter, he was still hopeful of getting a positive result.

The 48-year-old former Warriors coach only started working with the FC Platinum players Monday after returning to the club for a second spell following Dutchman Pieter De Jongh’s departure last week.

Despite the limited time he has had with the squad, Mapeza challenged his players to ensure they got off to a positive start.

“If they (the players) give me just 30 percent of what we were working on in the last three days, I will be a happy man. A lot has changed since I left the club; new players have come in also.

“I haven’t had enough time to have a definitive opinion of them but I am sure those who were here during my time have told them of my philosophy and what I expect from my players,” said Mapeza.

Earlier, Mapeza named a strong squad of 22 players for the trip to Mozambique which features several players who have previously played in the continent’s most competitive interclub competition.

Of the 22 players who made the trip to Maputo, only six have no continental football experience.

Some of the experienced players who Mapeza will count on include veteran goalkeeper Petros Mhari, Perfect Chikwende, Gift Bello, Rahman Kutsanzira and Gift Mbwete.

FC Platinum will also field some of its new signings who include Soccer Star of the Year finalist Ralph Kawondera, Denzel Khumalo, Silas Songani, Congolese Elie Ilunga and Tanzanian striker Elias Maguri.