FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says he has great respect for the local league such that he wasn’t focusing on the African champions league.

Speaking after the goalless draw against Highlanders on Wednesday, Mapeza refuted suggestions that maybe the last Castle Lager Premier League matches were for fine-tuning his team for the African champions league preliminary clash against CNaPS Sports of Madagascar next week.

“Now that the league has ended, we can talk about the champions league. There is no way you can use local games to prepare for the champions league because they are different. Highlanders are different from the Madagascar side. We have done our research on them, and we know how they play. They have the bulk of players in the Madagascar national team,” said Mapeza.

“I would have like to end the season with a win over Highlanders and get to the 80 point mark. Even in my talk with the players, I have always been telling them to be serious and not to be complacent. Even at some point when we were leading with a single point, I told them that if we maintain that point, it is the same point that is going to win us the title.”

FC Platinum finished the season on 78 points and are currently 12 ahead of second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars who are still to play Black Rhinos in the last game on Saturday.