FC Platinum still dream of title

MUTARE - FC Platinum have not given up on their target of clinching the 2017 Castle Lager Premiership title despite giving coach Norman Mapeza the green light to double up as Warriors coach.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) requested for Mapeza to take charge of the Warriors for their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia next month.

The Warriors are without a substantive coach following Kalisto Pasuwa’s sacking shortly after 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.

Mapeza will keep his job as the FC Platinum coach while working with the Warriors on a part-time basis.

Pure Platinum Play chairperson Evans Mtombeni said they have an obligation to help up the national team hence their willingness to allow Mapeza to juggle between the two roles.

“Through our media officer, we have been communicating that were are gunning for nothing short but the league title itself by week 34 here in Zvishavane,” Mtombeni said.

“As a club we have an obligation to support the national team be it with players, technical staff or with any other resources that we can avail depending on whether it’s possible.

“On Mapeza we actually responded to Zifa that we give them the go ahead to consider continuing to work with him as the coach on an interim basis.”

The FC Platinum boss, however, said still Mapeza will have to be very cautious how he approaches the two assignments since it is a very crucial period in the league and for the Warriors.

“These upcoming international matches are quite serious because they are qualifiers,” Mtombeni said.

“At the same, by the time they are played in June according to the Fifa calendar, our league will also be at its height.

“The demands of those two assignments are very huge and how he juggles the two jobs will be up to him. But we have given him the go ahead for him to join Zifa.”

The platinum miners are chasing their first league title since promotion in 2011 from the second tier league.

FC Platinum were just two games away from winning the title that year when they narrowly lost out to DeMbare on goal difference.

Since 2014, the Zvishavane-based side has finished in the top four as the title has remained elusive.

This season, Mapeza’s side currently sits in fifth place on the log with 12 points from six games.

They trail log leaders Highlanders by only a single point.

At the weekend, Mapeza’s side needed a hotly contested penalty converted by Winston Mhango to beat Hwange 1-0 at home.

That win brought to an end a three-match winless streak that had seen the platinum miners draw with Bulawayo City, Triangle and Black Rhinos.

This weekend, they travel to Bulawayo for a tricky fixture against high-riding How Mine at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.

The Bulawayo-based gold miners are on a four-game winning run which has seen them climb to third place on the log with 13 points.

PSL Fixtures


How Mine v FC Platinum (Barbourfields, SS 1PM), Bulawayo City v Black Rhinos (Barbourfields, SS 3PM), ZPC Kariba v Tsholotsho (Nyamhunga), Yadah FC v Chicken Inn (NSS)


Hwange v Triangle (Colliery), Shabanie Mine v Chapungu (Maglas), Harare City v Ngezi Platinum (Morris Depot), Highlanders v Dynamos (Barbourfields, SS)

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