Hans Van der Plyum says his Berekum Chelsea team have proved they are ready to compete against the best in the mini-stage of the CAF Champions League. Ahead of the start of the group stage matches this weekend, Chelsea insist they are up for the challenge after eliminating Raja Casablanca and Coton Sport to reach the mini-league.
The Ghanaian side, making their continental debut are drawn against three former champions, TP Mazembe, Al Ahly and Zamalek in Group B. And Chelsea begin their group campaign against Zamalek at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday with Van der Plyum, coach of the former Ghanaian champions insisting his side have gathered some experience from the preliminary round as they prepare for the tough battles ahead.
“We know Zamalek has a good track record in African football and we are expecting a tough challenge from them. We (Berekum Chelsea) have also gathered some level of experience playing from the preliminary round till this stage. Our determination will play a huge role in our quest for the three points,” said Van der Plyum.
The Berekum side, who have the competition’s leading scorer, Emmanuel Clottey in their fold with six goals, must overcome Hassan Shehata’s side to keep their quest for continental glory going.
“We have watched some clips of Zamalek and have an idea of their style of play. Also, our game against Raja Athletic Club, has equipped us with some knowledge on the North African game. We have the will, fighting spirit and are determined to come out tops,” the Chelsea coach said.
“We are hoping to win and win convincingly. We can only achieve that by taking our chances. Also, we want to begin our campaign on a good note, by grabbing all the three points.”
Chelsea will travel to Lubumbashi to face TP Mazembe on July 21 after their opening fixture against Zamalek. And they will complete the first round with an away fixture against six-time winners Al Ahly in Cairo on August 3.