3 April 2012

Zambia/Congo-Kinshasa: Coach Kabole Happy With Power Preparations

POWER Dynamos coach, Fordson Kabole has expressed happiness with his team's preparations ahead of the 2012 Orange CAF Champions League first round, return leg clash against DR Congo side TP Mazembe this weekend.

Kabole said he was happy that his team managed to kick off the 2012 MTN/FAZ Premier League with a victory over Green Eagles in a match that was played in synthetic turf at Independence Stadium in Lusaka on Sunday.

Power had shifted base to Lusaka to enable the team have a feel of the artificial turf since the game would be played on similar conditions at Kibassa Maliba Stadium in Lubumbashi in a game that the Zambian champions need an outright victory to qualify.

Kabole was still confident that nothing was lost despite Power drawing 1-all at home with Mazembe, saying his team still had a chance of progressing to the next round.

"I am happy that we were able to train on such a pitch as we needed to prepare ourselves on such a pitch ahead of our CAF game. I am happy that we managed to win the match as that gives us confidence," he said.

And Chipolopolo trainer Herve Renard held meetings with Power coaching staff after the match with Eagles at Lusaka's Independence Stadium.

Power secretary, Justin Kapoma, said in an interview from Lusaka yesterday that Frenchman Renard met the Kabole-headed Power coaching staff on two occasions on Sunday but he was yet to be briefed on what was discussed.

"He came to watch our match yesterday. He had a meeting with our coaches after the match and they shared notes. He actually met our coaches twice. I am sure if you talk to Mr Kabole, he will be in a position to tell you what was discussed," he said.

Kabole, who is being assisted by Beston 'Quicksilver' Chambeshi, John Munkonje and goalkeeper trainer Martin Mwamba, was not reachable on his mobile phone, while Chambeshi could not immediately comment on the matter.

Kapoma was optimistic that the meeting was beneficial to the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC)-sponsored Power, who were expected back in Kitwe yesterday having been training from Independence Stadium since Tuesday to acquaint themselves with playing on a synthetic turf.

"It is important to note that he has been watching some of our matches. If you remember, he was in Kitwe to watch the first match we played against Mazembe and he was at the stadium even yesterday," he said.

Kapoma said the Samuel 'Zoom'Ndhlovu Charity Shield, champions would leave Kitwe for Lubumbashi by road on Thursday and called on fans who have the capacity to travel to DRC to give the team maximum support.

CEC chairperson, Hanson Sindowe, was last week quoted as having said Power would consider assistance from Renard, who in 2009 nearly helped Red Arrows overcome a 4-0 first leg deficit against ENPPI of Egypt in the Orange CAF Confederation Cup.

Zambia Air Force (ZAF)-sponsored Arrows defeated ENNPI 3-0 in the return match played at Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka with Renard giving massive instructions from the bench throughout that match.

Mazembe's preparations for the Power match suffered a setback last week when their national league home match against rivals DC Motema Pembe, which was supposed to have been played at Kibassa Maliba Stadium on Sunday, was deferred to a later date on the latter's request.

Mazembe, who drew 1-1 with Power at Arthur Davies Stadium, were forced to arrange a haphazard training match with DRC's Orange CAF Confederations Cup representatives US Tshinkunku on Saturday.

The 2009 and 2010 Orange CAF Champions League winners defeated US Tshinkunku 4-0 with goals from Rainford Kalaba, Given Singuluma, Guy Lusadisu and Tresor Salakiaku.

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