Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE giants are looking to have at least two training sessions under floodlights ahead of their trip to Egypt as they want to familiarise with the night conditions they will play in during their CAF Champions League group stage opener against Zamalek.
Makepekepe begin their campaign in the money-spinning group phase this Friday with a 9pm kick-off against the five-time African champions at the 86 000-seater Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, about 225km north of Cairo.
The Green Machine regroup today to start the final leg of the preparations after the players were given weekend off following the postponement of their blockbuster clash with old rivals Dynamos.
CAPS United chief executive officer Cuthbert Chitima yesterday said the Harare giants are now ready for Wednesday’s departure.
The veteran administrator said Makepekepe will leave no stone unturned in their preparations and have plans to take their players through an evening training session either at the Italian Sports Club or Alex Sports Club to acquaint their players to the night settings.
Chitima also said the Green Machine are aware of the hot temperatures currently prevailing in the Mediterranean region which are hovering well over 35 degrees Celsius during the day.
The former ZIFA board member development was in Egypt two weeks ago for the group stage draw. “This match will kick-off at exactly 9pm in the evening and by that time it will be a bit cooler.
“We are not panicking. Our experiences so far have taught us that we have a team that adjusts a lot to circumstances. That trip to the DRC where we played heavyweights TP Mazembe and held them at their home demonstrated that we can adjust to anything.
“So whether the stadium will be full with 100 000 people, I don’t think it will be a big problem.
These guys’ morale is high, I have been to their training ground and saw it for myself. “Now we are making frantic efforts to train at night on Monday and Tuesday at one of the local sports clubs, either Italian Sports Club or at Alex to get used to the evening conditions. We don’t normally play our games at night here.
“We have also made enquiries with the authorities at the National Sports Stadium and it seems like they may not have finished clearing up the area after the church service held there,” said Chitima.