Team welcomes back Menzi, Barry and Linda
Mbabane – Local CAF envoys Royal Leopard have been dealt a huge blow as they will be without three key players in their CAF Confederation Cup group stages match against JS Saoura at Oran Olympia Stadium in Algeria on Sunday.
‘Ingwe Mabalabala’ will be without their experienced midfielder Zweli ‘Mlilo’ Nxumalo, defender Machawe ‘Mshanga’ Dlamini and Sifiso ‘Sushi’ Nkambule in their first match of the group stages of the CAF tournament.
The trio has since been replaced by Barry Steenkamp, Menzi Sithole and Linda Mbuli, who have been registered for the CAF group stages. Leopard coach Edwin Matsebula conceded that these players would be greatly missed and their absence would be a huge blow. “I think we will only be missing these three as the rest of the players are available for this match except for those who have been injured for a long time.
“The good thing is that we have been able to register Barry Steenkamp and Sithole to boost our squad.”
Matsebula said the rest of the players were motivated and looking forward to the match.
The duo (Barry and Sithole) re-joined the team at the beginning of this season from Vovovo and Swallows, respectively.
‘Mlilo’ and Machawe have been instrumental in the police side’s good run in their continental campaign, having played almost all their games in the continental competitions. Matsebula said they would rely on their mental strength to withstand the pressure expected to be exerted on them in Algeria on Sunday night.
The local side is expected to arrive in Algeria today, having left the country yesterday morning. The defending MTN Premier League champions host Orlando Pirates of South Africa on February 27 with the other match against Libya’s Al-Ittihad Tripoli rescheduled for March 6.
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