Shabanie, Platinum renew rivalry

ZVISHAVANE - Shabanie Mine and FC Platinum resume their rivalry when they clash in a Cephas Msipa Charity match at Mandava Stadium tomorrow.The tournament also features Highlanders and Chapungu, who will clash at Ascot Stadium in Gweru on the same day with the winner progressing to meet the winner of the Zvishavane derby in the final on Sunday.

But it is the clash between cross town rivals Shabanie and Platinum that is expected to lighten up the tournament which has grown from two teams last year to four this year.

Both Shabanie Mine and Platinum have promised fireworks on Saturday despite the match being a charity match as the bragging rights of the mining town are at stake. Platinum having dominated in previous encounters.

Platinum spokesperson Chido Chizondo said they are taking the game seriously as it will help them to gauge their preparedness for the forthcoming 2014 season.  She said the platinum miners are going to field their best team for the tournament.

Shabanie Mine coach John Phiri, who is starting from scratch after almost the entire team left at the end of last season, said tomorrow’s game will help to raise the spirits of his new team.

“I have a number of new players after we lost most players but that’s not an excuse since these new guys are equally capable and are eager to showcase their talents.

“We are building a new team, which I believe is going to be competitive this year. Our journey starts with the Saturday match and we are hoping to do well,” said Phiri.

Shabanie Mine lost a number of players and are now on a rebuilding exercise with some of the new players going to be paraded in the charity match.

The Chinda Boys have so far acquired Xolani Ncube from Town United, Patrick Mpofu from Town United, Edmore Tsoro from FC Platinum and the duo of Nyasha Mpofu and Lloyd Ngara from How Mine.

Platinum won the inaugural edition last year beating Shabanie 1-0, with Warriors midfielder Ali Sadiki scoring the solitary goal. They have strengthened their team this year, bringing in strikers Tarisai Rukanda  from Shabanie Mine, Njabulo Ncube from Highlanders  and Stephen Sibanda from Buffaloes.

Lloyd Mutasa’s men have also roped in starlets Walter Musona and Wisdom Mutasa from Aces Academy as well as defender James Marufu from DC Academy. Last week, Platinum drew 1-1 with Bantu Rovers in a friendly match played at Mandava Stadium with new striker Ncube getting the goal for the hosts.

Proceeds from the gate charges will go towards paying school and tertiary fees for underprivileged children  under the Cephas Msipa Scholarship Trust.

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