From Sikhumbuzo Moyo in Maputo, Mozambique
FORMER Highlanders diminutive midfield workhorse Brian Banda, now in FC Platinum colours says he cherishes playing his first continental football match when Pure Platinum Play takes on Mozambique’s Costa do Sol at Zimpeta Stadium this afternoon.
Banda is one of seven continental football debutants, including his former Bosso teammate Denzel Khumalo that coach Norman Mapeza took along for the trip as Pure Platinum Play look forward to a positive start in the qualifying rounds of the tournament.
He said today’s battle presents him with a huge opportunity to prove his footballing talent at an international stage which is usually a stepping stone into attracting attention from foreign clubs.
“Its without doubt that this is a great feeling for me to play my first game in the Champions League where I intend to do my level best. It presents me with an opportunity to see where I am in terms of my career as a footballer,” said Banda.
Having been brought into the team by former coach Pieter De Jongh whom he worked with at Highlanders only to be relieved of his duties with FC Platinum settling for Norman Mapeza as the replacement, Banda said to him there has been no difference in how Mapeza wants him to play.
“My style of play in terms of tactical positioning hasn’t really changed because I still play the same type of football I was playing and the coach has not said anything about that, which I think is a sign that he is probably content but I as a player, one must be prepared to adapt to any situation,” said Banda.
He added that it was also not a difficult issue to jelly with his new teammates and new environment when he moved from Highlanders and Bulawayo to the Midlands town.
“We know each other as players even though we might have been rivals so it was really not difficult to settle down,” said Banda who is set for his first competitive match in FC Platinum colours this afternoon.