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Mapeza frets over FC Platinum fitness

by Staff reporter
15 Aug 2021 at 08:55hrs | Views
FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza will have less than a month to ensure that his team is in top physical and mental condition to compete in the Caf Champions League after the team was drawn against Angolan side GD Segrada Esperanca in the preliminary round of the competition.

The team will travel to Luanda for the opening fixture between September10-12 before hosting their opponents a week later at the National Sports stadium.

With only a month left before plunging into another African Safari expedition, Mapeza and his charges are undoubtedly racing against time to condition their squad.

FC Platinum is yet to begin training as they are still working towards compliance with the conditions set by the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC).

"I am still assessing everything, fitness included. We are finalising all Covid protocol issues, bio-bubble then after that it's all back to training and assessments of fitness levels. I am just hoping for the best going forward," Mapeza said.

This will not be their first time to face an opponent from Angola, having played against Premiero de Agosto during the 2018/19 campaign where they lost 5-1 on aggregate.

And Mapeza will be hoping to undo that forgettable memory of Luanda.

Should they pass the first hurdle, they will face the winner between Zesco United of Zambia and Royal Leopards of Eswatini.

What will worry Mapeza at this point are the fitness levels of their players, who have been inactive for the better part of the last 16-months since football has not returned to full-swing.

Last month, the government through the Sport and Recreation Commission pulled the plug on the Chibuku Super Cup and other sports in light of spiking covid-19 cases.

That decision inadvertently, affected FC Platinum's preparations for their fourth consecutive flirtation on the African Safari having been handpicked by the Zimbabwe Football Association to represent the country in the competition, not on merit but simply by virtue of them having won the last league campaign in 2019.

Nevertheless, this period of inactivity since last month might have also been a blessing in disguise for some of his players who were nursing injuries. These include William Stima, Blessing Moyo, Raphael Muduviwa and Donald Ngoma.

Source - the standard