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Abuja – South Africa’s SuperSport United will have another shot at international glory this weekend when they begin their campaign in the continent's second-tier cup competition.
They host Gaborone United of Botswana in the preliminary round, first leg of the Caf Confederation Cup.
The Pretoria club is participating in the competition for the second straight season. Last time round, they were knocked out in the second round by Egypt's ENPPI.
A total of 42 clubs will feature in the preliminary rounds, including ASEC Mimosas of Ivory Coast, Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia as well as Nigeria’s Warri Wolves and Bayelsa United.
The Nigerian teams have a bye to the second round.
Last year's winners, CS Sfaxien of Tunisia, have opted for the more prestigious CAF Champions League after they won their country's league championship.
SuperSport United will be rewarded with a first-round clash between the winners of the match between AFC Leopards of Kenya and Defence of Ethiopia, if they beat Gaborone United.
The South African club have won the domestic league title three times but are yet to enjoy international success.
Cavin Johnson has replaced the experienced Gavin Hunt as coach and the team are undergoing a reorganisation with the signing of several new players.
They include striker Dino Ndlovu, who is on loan from Israeli club Maccabi Haifa.
Last year, local rivals Orlando Pirates went all the way to the final.
Key matches in this weekend's preliminaries include Ghana's Ebusua Dwarfs against ASC Diaraf of Senegal; Al Ahly Tripoli of Libya versus Cercle Olympique from Mali; and CS Don Bosco of DR Congo against Uganda's Victoria University.
“This will be our debut in international football and we are prepared,” said Victoria University coach Morlay Byekwaso, whose team have been training in Nairobi to prepare for the clash.
The return leg matches are slated for a week later, while first-round games will be played from the weekend of February 28. – Sapa-AFP