PSL preview no6: Will Platinum finally deliver?

ZVISHAVANE - FC Platinum burst into the Castle Premiership in 2011 in style, luring the best players to Zvishavane, earning the moniker “Moneybags” after splashing money like never before in local football.

In November 2011, FC Platinum had done almost everything in preparation for a coronation as Zimbabwe league champions with one weekly paper already having ordained them winners.

The club had also hired supporters from Harare who came in a fleet of buses clad in FC Platinum replica jerseys to witness the grand “crowning ceremony”.

But an own goal from defender Daniel Veremu in the second half against Dynamos put everything that was planned on that day by the Moneybags on hold as they went on to finish second to the Glamour Boys on  goal difference.

The 2014 season presents FC Platinum with a real chance to rekindle their dream of lifting the league title.

The platinum miners remain the only team from outside Harare and Bulawayo with a realistic chance of dethroning reigning champions DeMbare this season. Platinum, despite a false start under Zambian coach Tenant Chilumba last year, picked up the tempo in the second half of the season after Lloyd Mutasa took over the coaching reins to finish fourth and with a bit of luck could have leapfrogged Dynamos to clinch the title.

For the first time since their entrance into the league in 2011, there seems to be some tranquillity at the club with the coach firmly in charge and no player power or divisions as was the case in the previous years where there were two camps of players pitting those from Harare against players from Bulawayo which affected team spirit.

The club’s executive, led by George Mawere, seems to have learnt something from their predecessors and have given the coach the free reign to assemble a team that will bring the trophy to Mandava.

Mutasa has managed to blend well a team made up of experienced players and juniors. Njabulo Ncube, Stephen Sibanda, Tarisai Rukanda, Gift Bello, James Marufu, Wisdom Mutasa, Walter Musona, Livingstone Genti are some of the new players who were brought in by Mutasa this season to add up to the previous squad that already have the likes of Aaron Katebe, Nelson Maziwisa, Quadr Amin, Mitchell Katsvairo, Thabani Kamusoko, Ali Sadiki and Simon Shoko. The new recruits have impressed during the pre-season matches with Ncube having already scored eight goals while Rukanda has scored five times.

Talbert Shumba has been doing well between the posts which will push regulars Francis Tizayi and Petros Mhari to work even harder.

The team has so much depth and for every position there are a number of players fighting for the jersey, something which is healthy for a club. For a club to win trophies, there is also need for cohesion among the players, the players and the coaches and the coaches and the executive.

Topping it all, there should be an element of lady luck. When Massimo Morrati bought Inter Milan he brought in the likes of Christian Vieri, Ronaldo, Dennis Bergkamp but the Scudetto continued to elude them because at times money doesn’t buy you instant success.

It was not until the turn of the millennium that the Milan club was to win back-to-back league titles under Roberto Mancini. The same is true with FC Platinum, the first three years should be a lesson for them and the 2014 season should be the year for them to correct their past mistakes and make “footballing” decisions.

When they came into the Premiership, FC Platinum were the team to “hate”, with a small support base and the situation was compounded by the fact that rival supporters from Shabanie Mine and Dynamos Supporters Zvishavane chapter would render support to any visiting team at Mandava.

Their supporters were drowned, but over the years, their support base has been increasing something which will work in their favour this season.

Last year, the FC Platinum supporters managed to silence the vociferous Dynamos supporters in a mid-week fixture at Mandava which they won 2-0.

Daily News prediction: 3rd

Last season finish: 4th

Comments (1)

We wish you all the best Samaita.This now can be defined as your project for you are starting on a fresh page with the players that you chose. We have never doubted your abilities.Go on Lodza and show the world what you are capable of doing.We pray for you.May God bless FC Platinum

SHAVA - 21 March 2014

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