By Washington Sibanda
South African Soccer giants Orlando Pirates arrived in the country on friday afternoon ahead of their Group B Total African champions league clash with Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum set for Babourfields stadium on saturday afternoon.
The Buccaneers as they are known by many held their first training session at a wet Babourfields stadium the match venue behind closed doors, amid a huge interest from the local football lovers who were kept out of sight from seeing the star studded side.
Addressing a media briefing ahead of the epic encounter head coach Micho was not shy to point out how significant the 12th man would influence the game on Saturday as it is a well known fact that they have a huge support base in Bulawayo.
“We know that we are coming to an environment that has so many supporters keeping our badge at heart, we want to invite them to come and be player number twelve in rallying behind us”, said the Serbian.\
“We are also aware that there will be a lot of people supporting FC Platinum and its well known that player number twelve plays an important role in terms of influence but football is played on the field of play so we really expect our supporters to come in numbers to support us in voice and sound so we are expecting a very thrilling match”, added Micho.
Amongst the stars that jetted into the country at the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo international airport with the sea robbers are inspirational captain Happy Jele,Zambian international Justice Shonga as well as Zimbabwean duo of Kudakwashe Mahachi and Nyasha Munetsi who the gaffer pointed out that they will play a huge role in the encounter despite playing against their fellow brothers.
“Both of them (Mahachi & Munetsi) are extreme proffessionals and we believe in them that they will play an important role not only for us but also for the Zimbabwe National team”, said Micho
“They need to put aside emotions of playing against their home brothers and give their best for the badge they are carrying in all of our games so that they can knock on the doors of the National team, so there is no better way of showing their real value in front of their home fans”, Micho said.
The encounter is expected to attract a huge crowd as Bulawayo last hosted a champions league match a couple of years back when Mamelodi Sundowns came to play Chicken Inn at the same venue. The cheapest ticket is going for $5, the wings will cost $10 and the VIP is pegged at $ 20.