By Sports Reporter
AMBITIOUS Premier Soccer League side Ngezi Platinum Stars will this week embark on a pre-season tour to South Africa as their preparations for the 2019 season which begins on March 30 gather momentum.
Ngezi chief excecutive officer Nyasha Kadenge said the Mhondoro-based Platinum miners would be based at Royal Marang High Performance Centre in Rustenburg in the North West Province of South Africa.
“Ngezi Platinum Stars Football Club is taking its pre-season preparations a gear up and will be travelling to Rustenburg South Africa for its pre-season camp. With the team looking forward to a very competitive season and looking to gain regional exposure as they prepare for the season, the team will be spending time at Royal Marang High Performance Centre in Rustenburg South Africa. Royal Marang High Performance Centre is renowned for its state of the art facilities and the team executive sees this as a good opportunity to ensure the team gets into good shape for the season,” Kadenge said.
The South Africa tour, Kadenge said would provide Ngezi Platinum Star’s technical team led by Dutchman Erol Akbay an opportunity to fine tune its preparations while also allowing the team test itself against three unnamed South African Premiership teams.
“Akbay’s vision for the team is to build a strong attacking team and ensure the games are fast paced. Training at the High Performance centre will provide a good opportunity to augment the team’s strengths for the season. With new coaches on board and new team members, the pre-season camp provides an ideal environment for team building, improving mental and physical preparedness.
“For the pre-season camp, the team will also get an opportunity to play three South African Premier League teams which will test the team’s preparedness, mental, tactical and physical strength. With the team’s vision for junior development, the camp will also provide the team administration an opportunity to benchmark with some of the leading clubs in the ABSA premiership. The administration team will be starting off the season well-equipped and ready to carry the season’s goals,” Kadenge said.
Ngezi, who parted ways with former Dynamos coach Tonderayi Ndiraya have demanded nothing short of the league title from Akbay.
Ndiraya was unceremoniously fired late in the league race last year when Ngezi were second on the log, and just five points adrift of log leaders and eventual winners FC Platinum.
The Dutchman will have to move mountains to live up to the club’s demands considering that he inherits a team that has lost a number of high-profile players since the end of last season.
The Mhondoro side have since lost regular players such as Godknows Murwira, Walter Mukanga, Clive Augusto, Tichaona Chipunza and goalkeeper Donovan Bernard.
Akbay returns to local football after leading the Highlanders technical team in 2016 and 2017 with the team finishing third and sixth in respective seasons.