Leopards’ relegation days ‘over’
07 August 2012 | NJABULO NGIDI
JOHANNESBURG - The club has set its sights on higher targets fuelled by the experience they picked up in the Caf Confederation Cup where they were one goal away from making it into the last eight.
Expectations were low when the team began their continental quest against Zimbabwe’s Motor Action.
They, nonetheless, went through to further claim the scalps of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Saint Eloi Lupopo and Warri Wolves of Nigeria before falling to Sudanese 18-time Premiership winners Al-Merreikh.
This was while the team was flirting with relegation in the Premiership.
“We got some competitive game time against Al-Merreikh earlier on and we are ready for our first league match,” Chidzambwa said.
“The experience we picked up in the tournament is valuable and it will put us in a good position when the league starts. The character of the players has grown after facing tough crowds in DRC and Nigeria. We won’t be fighting to avoid relegation anymore.”
Lidoda Duvha kicks off their campaign against a rejuvenated Bloemfontein Celtic side that has beefed up their squad with nine signings. Kurt Lentjies, Siyabonga Nontshinga, Brent Lawler, John Arwuah and Auguston Leonard are among those signed to improve the disappointing season Phunya Sele Sele had.
Leopards have also brought in re-enforcements including the young Tommy Mandlazi, who was among the outstanding players in the SAB Under-21 National Championship in Nelspruit. Abbas Amidu from Kaizer Chiefs and Djunga Munganga from Lupopo have also joined the squad.
“It is important that we start the league on a positive note with a win,” Chidzambwa said. “We were let down by our bad start last season where we failed to get many maximum points at the start.
“With the strength the players picked up in the Confederation Cup we are confident that we can challenge for some silverware. The overall target though is to finish in the top eight in the league.”
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