FC PLATINUM TURN TO WEST AFRICA

Newly-crowned Zimbabwe champions FC Platinum have gone on the overdrive in their hunt for a lethal striker after turning to West Africa to get Cameroonian teenager Albert Eonde and Ghana’s Ibrahim Dauda who is expected from Accra today.

FC PLATINUM TURN TO WEST AFRICA
Cameroonian forward Albert Eonde is welcomed at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by a friend Gilbert Sengwe on Sunday

The platinum miners are bracing themselves for their second dance with the Champions League and have decided to look beyond the borders after they encountered frustrations on the domestic market. FC Platinum who will be Zimbabwe’s sole representative in the African Safari are eager to make an impact this time around with their first target being a place in the group stage.

And in order to achieve that feat they would need a strong side that has the fire-power in attack, balance in midfield and the solidity in defence. Club FC Platinum spokesperson Chido Chizondo yesterday confirmed they have received 19-year-old Eonde who was due to start his trial stint yesterday while Dauda is only expected to fly into Zimbabwe today.

“We are expecting the arrival of Ibrahim Dauda from Ghana tomorrow (today). What has been very clear on the Zimbabwean market is that forwards are hard to come by. That’s why we have reached outside the country so we can find a suitable striker,” said Chizondo. FC Platinum’s strike force has been their major weakness in the just ended season.

Although they still finished top of the table with 72 points, two ahead of runners-up Dynamos, the success was hugely attributed to their mean defence which let in a paltry 15 goals in 34 starts.

In comparison, their attack could only bang in 40 goals and were a distant fourth behind Dynamos (55), Ngezi Platinum (54) and CAPS United who had 43 goals to their credit. By his own admission coach Norman Mapeza had revealed that goals were getting hard to come by during the course of the season and with an impending African adventure next year, the platinum miners are now looking for a solution.

The Zvishavane side have to speed up their hunt because of the festive season holidays and the need to beat the December 31 initial deadline to register players with the Confederation of African Football.

While nothing much is known about Ghanaian Dauda, the local intermediary who has facilitated Eonde’s trials has spoken highly of the 19-year old Cameroon youth international. With his good technique and eye for goal, the handlers believe Eonde could turn out to be an improved version of Christian Joel Epoupa Ntouba.

According to his handlers, Eonde played for second tier side Vitre FC and scored 19 goals in 20 starts in the 2014-15 season. He then spent the following season at Coton Sport Garoua where he also excelled with 16 goals and seven assists in the 32 games that he featured for the giants. Before packing his bags for Zimbabwe his last stint was at Canon Yaoundé where he scored 16 goals and made four assists. Eonde’s CV also shows that he had three national team caps at Under-20 level and scored two goals.

“His scoring record speaks for itself. This guy is only 19 and has played for the national Under-20 team. He also got a call up to the Under-23 side. Unfortunately that was about the same time that he had to go for trials in Thailand.

I don’t know what transpired there but the deal did not materialise and he had to come here,” a source close to the deal said.

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