THE COUNTRY’S Orange Caf Confederation Cup representatives How Mine believe they will stand the heat when they venture into Africa next year as they host little-known Zanzibari Chuoni FC in the preliminary round of the continental cup in February next year.
How Mine suffered a 0-3 debilitating defeat to Highlanders in the Mbada Diamonds Cup final last month, the cup that qualifies local club participation in the Confederation Cup. The gold miners became eligible for the tournament as Bosso are still serving a Caf ban.
Head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube yesterday welcomed the draw against the Zanzibari side, but he still had to do some research on the club from off the coast of Tanzania.
“It was a fair draw and it will be a learning curve for us. A draw is a draw and once it has been conducted you have to fulfill those fixtures, but honestly I don’t have any information on that club and I don’t have any idea of how competitive the league in Zanzibar is. We will stand the heat because we need to write our own piece of history,” Beefy said.
The 2008 coach of the year with Njube Sundowns, who beat local giants Dynamos and Caps United to cruise through to the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup, said he was still to finalise his squad for the continental showcase. It has to be submitted before the Caf deadline of December 31.
“We are still putting final touches to the squad and we are not going to release the names of the players that we will be registering for the tournament for now because that could jeopardise our negotiations with some players,” Beefy said.
How Mine have already written a piece of history locally, becoming one of the first teams to venture into Africa in their first season in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.
The Metallon Gold-sponsored How Mine beat Highlanders back-to-back in the league and beat Dynamos at Luveve. The foray into the jungles of Africa and their capacity to participate in the continental tournament is yet to be measured.
Hwange represented the country in the same tournament last year and beat Jamhuri of Zanzibar 4-1 at home and 3-0 away to secure a 7-1 aggregate win in the preliminary round. They bowed out in the first round losing on away goals rule to Al-Amal Atbara of Sudan. The coal miners drew 1-1 with Al-Amal Atbara at the Colliery and settled for a 0-0 draw in Sudan.
How Mine have in their squad the likes of Hebert Dick, Gilbert Banda, Menard Mupera, goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura, Simba Sithole, Simon Njeleza and Nqobile Mpala. Chairman Mlondolozi Nkomo on Monday said they will be making a few additions to their squad.
They have Caps United midfielder Tendai Samanja on their radar.