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Ndiraya rues Antonio’s absence ahead of crunch cup tie with FC Platinum

Even though almost all his squad is fully fit, Dynamos FC head coach Tonderai Ndiraya has said he will miss Bill Antonio when his side tussles against FC Platinum in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter final tie.

He revealed this to the media on Thursday after going through their final preparations for the tricky encounter slated for Sunday afternoon at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.

The former Warriors assistant coach who provided an update regarding some of his players who are in the casualty department said:

“I’m glad we have almost all our players back in action except for Munyaradzi Mawadza who is out with an ankle injury.

“We are going to miss Bill Antonio we all know he left for Belgium.”

He added: “Brendan Mpofu is back in training, Shadreck Nyahwa played in our last match and those were long term casualties but they are all back.”

Antonio a highly rated midfielder who was on loan to DeMbare from Prince Edward Academy completed his move to Belgian top flight side KV Mechelen last week.

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The 20-year-old was a vital cog in Ndiraya’s team and his departure left the gaffer with the headache of pondering on his replacement.

During his spell at Dynamos Antonio helped the team to win crucial games through his scoring prowess and also provided many assists.

However, Stanza as Ndiraya is nicknamed is still hoping to progress to the next round without to Antonio.

He is riding on his Chibuku Super Cup experience he believes could help him crush out the platinum miners who are the holders of the prestigious trophy.

“I have managed to win this cup before, so I’m hoping to use that experience to do well in this year’s competition but the first hurdle is to win our next match versus Platinum.”

In other Chibuku Cup fixtures, Highlanders plays as visitors to rivals Bulawayo Chiefs at their fortress Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo on Sunday afternoon.

On the same day, Black Rhinos will host former championship winners Chicken Inn at Vhengere Stadium in Rusape.

The first match of the quarter final stages will be played on Saturday afternoon at the National Sports Stadium in a game that will feature Herentals and Manica Diamonds.