no jitters for stars

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

For Platinum Stars players venturing out of South Africa for the first time in a competitive match holds no fears.

When they face Lesotho Correctional Service in the second leg of the African Champions League on Sunday, The Tycoons will be comforted by having in their ranks players such as Ugandan Dennis Onyango, Bhekithemba Ndlovu and Edward Williams, who have all campaigned in Africa with their national teams. Coach Miguel Gamondi is also an experienced campaigner.

The four-goal cushion established in Rustenburg a fortnight ago also can't hurt.

Striker Dingane Masanabo hopes to get an opportunity to register his first goal in this tournament.

"Playing before their supporters, that team will have a totally different approach to how they played us in Rustenburg. We have been more attack-minded of late, which has pleased the coach, so we will not only be defending those goals," said Masanabo.

Stars will travel to Lesotho on Saturday, and will return straight after the match.

Also competing on the African stage this weekend is the Trott Moloto-led Mamelodi Sundowns, whose second leg match against Miemba SC of Zanzibar will take place at Loftus on Saturday.

Despite the unstable circumstances they find themselves in at the moment, assistant coach Harris Choeu is confident that the character shown by the players in Zanzibar, when they came away with a 1-0 win, will shine through in the next couple of matches.

"We were treated very well, but the conditions we played under were trying. The game itself was very tough, and because of the poor state of the pitch, our whole approach to the match had to change," Choeu said.

These are crucial times for everyone associated with Downs, and Choeu admits their only hope for credibility as new coaches is to radically decrease the damage that has already beset the club this season.