Reactions: Group Phase Draw
21 March 2018 10:00
GROUP A (AL AHLY, TOWNSHIP ROLLERS, KCCA, ESPERANCE)
Sayed Abdel Hafiz (Director of Football, Al Ahly)
It is a balanced draw. Ahly will open our campaign against a strong team like Esperance, and matches between the two sides are always excitement packed. It is always important to start on a good note, and we will prepare towards that. It is also necessary to pay attention to KCCA and Township Rollers, despite being debutants at this stage.
Nikola Kavazovic (Head Coach, Township Rollers)
We have to be satisfied with the draw. Looking at all four groups, Group B (TP Mazembe, MC Alger, Difaa El Jadidi and ES Setif) is the group of death. We had a group which I personally prefer and I’m happy with. We have to prepare very well and get the three points from our opening match against KCCA at home. Once we have the three points, there will be no pressure on us for the next game.
Mike Mutebi (Head Coach, KCCA)
It is a very tough draw. We are an emerging force and a young team with an average age of 22. This is the challenge we have been waiting for. Last season, we played against clubs from Egypt (El Masry) and Morocco (FUS Rabat), so we have experience against North African clubs, and we believe that will motivate us. We will be playing against some of the big sides in African football, but we are not scared. We are going to put up a good fight
GROUP B (TP MAZEMBE, MC ALGER, DIFAA EL JADIDI, ES SETIF)
Mihayo Kazembe (Head Coach, TP Mazembe)
It is not an easy group. We have two Algerian clubs, MC Alger and ES Setif. There is also Difaa El Jadidi of Morocco, who eliminated our rivals AS Vita. We respect all the teams but we have hard to improve our level. There will be six matches but the first match, at home against ES Setif is very important. We will go for the three points in the opening match to boost our chances.
GROUP C (AS TOGO, MAMELODI SUNDOWNS, WYDAD ATHLETIC CLUB, HOROYA)
Pitso Mosimane (Head Coach, Mamelodi Sundowns)
It is a fair draw. You can’t ask for less, you can’t ask for more. It is the top 16 and you take whatever comes. With regards to Wydad, both us are not sure of each other. We beat them at home (1-0) and they also beat us (1-0), and they won on penalties and went on to win the title. Both teams want to know who is better. They (Wydad) are the current champions and we have also won it before (2016), and it will be interesting to play them. Horoya plays good football with great passing technique. They are good team, tactical and have some good individual players. The team we don’t know much is AS Port (Togo), and we will have to conduct a research on them.
Victor Zvunka (Head Coach, Horoya)
We have been drawn against the winners’ of the last two editions, Mamelodi Sundowns (2016) and Wydad Athletic Club (2017). We have to play and prove our worth. The first is very important to our chances. We will be away to AS Port (Togo) in Lome, and we have to start on a good note. After, we will play two matches at home (Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Athletic Club) and we have to prepare well to make the most of games at home.
GROUP D (ZESCO, PRIMEIRO DE AGOSTO, ETOILE DU SAHEL, MBABANE SWALLOWS)
Eustace Mutale (Technical Director, Zesco)
It is fair draw. We respect all the teams. Zesco now has an in-depth of African football and we can play anyone. We are ready for the challenge.
Reactions: Group Phase Draw
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