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Were confident of good showing in Caf Champions League

Harambee Stars forward Jesse Were is confident his Zambian club, Zesco United, will make it to atleast the semi-finals of this season’s Africa Champions League.

The prolific striker, alongside compatriots David ‘Calabar’ Owino and Anthony Akumu, will become the first Kenyans to feature in the lucrative group stages of Africa’s premier club competition.

Zesco United was on Tuesday night pooled alongside continental giants Al Ahly (Egypt), ASEC Mimoas (Ivory Coast) and Wydad Casablanca (Morocco) in Group A.

“We are confident of putting up a good show in this competition and even making it to the semis,” Were, who has scored three goals in six games in this competition, said.

The former Tusker FC player, who is in the country on national team duty added:

“We had excellent preparations in pre-season, and played friendlies against some seasoned sides. We also came up against some formidable opposition in the earlier stages of the competition and came through. This gives me confidence.”

Were has been an instant hit since his relocation from the Kenyan Premier League to its Zambian equivalent at the start of the year.

PULL A SURPRISE

He has so far scored nine league goals in as many matches, including four in a single game against Mfulira Blackpool last month.

Were’s sentiments were echoed by the club’s Chief Executive Officer, Justin Mumba, who said the team hopes to pull a surprise.

“The draw is fair. We are happy to be in the same group with Al Ahly (Egypt). We are the underdogs in the group and we will pull up a surprise. It is the second time we are in the group phase after 2009. We come back with a lot of experience. We have a team that can conquer,” Mumba was quoted by cafonline.com.

Fixtures in the group phase of the competition will commence on June 17, with each of the eight clubs guaranteed atleast Sh40 million from the Confederation of African Football in appearance fees and prize money.

Group B consists of Enyimba (Nigeria), Zamalek (Egypt), Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa) and ES Setif (Algeria).

The top two finishers in each group will progress to a two-leg semifinals and thereafter the final which will also be played on a home and away basis.