HARARE – Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya will have to deal with a growing list of injured players as his charges continue preparing for the African Confederation Cup tournament that gets underway next month.
The Chibuku Super Cup winners began their pre-season preparations over a month ago but their progress had been severely hit following mishaps to some of their key players.
Speaking on the sidelines of the unveiling of their new players yesterday, Ndiraya said he is hoping his squad will recover in time for the first match against Pamplemousses Sporting Club of Mauritius.
“We started well but along the way we encountered some problems of injuries among some of our players and it took a dent on our preparations,” Ndiraya said.
Winger Donald Teguru only joined training this week after suffering an ankle injury while striker Washington Pakamisa has also just recovered from a hamstring injury.
New signing Qadr Amini from How Mine is also struggling with a hamstring injury as well as experienced defender Edgar Tapera.
Apart from the injuries that have rocked his camp, Ndiraya said they have covered a lot of ground in conditioning the players and will only get better when they start playing competitive matches.
“The progress has been good though and we are in our fifth week now and I think we are almost there,” he said.
“We were also fortunate to play an international friendly match against the Mozambique champions and I must say the boys did well.
“Of course there are some areas that we need to polish up before we can face Pamplemousses SC and like I said before that we want to travel for another international friendly match and see how the boys perform away from home which I think will help us shape well.
At yesterday’s unveiling ceremony, the club paraded former Dynamos duo of Dominic Mukandi and Godknows Murwira.
Maclive Phiri, who was Tsholotsho’s top goal scorer last season, together with ZPC Kariba keeper Takabva Mawaya and Edgar Mhungu were also presented at yesterday’s ceremony. The club also signed two junior players Mandlenkosi Mlilo and Zivanai Chikwenhere from Prince Edward School.
Ndiraya expressed satisfaction with his squad which he believes will fight for honours in the upcoming season.
“We want to do the best we can that is the reason why we went on the market and bought those players that have been unveiled today,” he said.
“We want to do better than what we did last year. We finished seventh in the league and we want to better that this season. We won the Chibuku Super Cup and of course it’s only reasonable to retain the cup so we are going to work as hard as possible so that we achieve our goals.”