How FC Platinum hijacked Albert Eonde deal
FC PLATINUM are hoping that their big risk on young striker Albert Eonde will pay off given they had to hijack the player who was Thailand bound.
Having played for Cameroon’s national under 20 team, Eonde, 19, was in search of a club that could expose him to global football, and Asia was the better gateway. Zimbabwe’s CAF Champions league representatives, FC Platinum, were impressed when the player arrived for trials at Mandava.
His manager Gilbert Sengwe, the same man who handles Dynamos striker Christian Ntouba Epoupa, said it was not easy convincing the player to come down south.
“Yes, I have strong contacts but it is never easy convincing a player from West Africa to come here to Zimbabwe. But I had to try and make him understand that where he was about to sign a contract in Thailand, their football was not different from ours.
“And in fact, we are better and we offer better opportunities for players to break into bigger leagues if they are good. There is no doubt about that. So that is how he agreed to come for trials at FC Platinum and they decided to sign him,” Sengwe said.
Sengwe is hoping that Eonde can make an impression, move to a bigger club to ensure he will have more players coming from that region into Southern Africa.
Most Cameroonian players normally find the French lower leagues as the gateway to Europe’s top clubs.
“I’m still hoping that Ntouba will finally make the break. It was unfortunate he had to pick up that injury.
“I also hope that Albert will also make an impact in a short period of time. That way, it helps other clubs to sign top players from that region if they are competing in these African tournaments that need very strong teams,” he said.
Coach Norman Mapeza will be hoping that Eonde will provide FC Platinum with goals when they face Angolan champions Desportivo de Agosto in February.
Agosto have a richer history than FC Platinum, having won the league title 11 times since their formation in 1977.
And if they can brush aside the highly experienced army-owned Angolan side, they are likely to face ABSA Premiership side Bidvest Wits. Bidvest Wits of South Africa are favourites when they face Pamplemousses of Mauritius.
This will be the second time that FC Platinum will be venturing into the CAF Champions league, having failed to rich the later in their first attempt.
Another foreign player, Zambian Shadreck Mayembe, will also be there to try and change FC’s fortunes.
While Eonde is an outright striker, who could score more goals if he settles, the same cannot be expected from Mayembe, given his history shows he has been used as an attacking midfielder in the past.
FC have more of such attacking midfielders and last year their scoring record was not impressive given the number of chances they create in one game.