HomeSportSoccerPure Platinum play . . . love, hate them

Pure Platinum play . . . love, hate them


Love them or hate them — they were the most talked about team in the 2011 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL).

That is FC Platinum — Pure Platinum Play — the team promoted from the Central Region as Mimosa and rebranded to FC Platinum at the start of their maiden journey in the Premiership.

They beat Shooting Stars 3-1, but Dynamos won 2-0 against Kiglon to clinch the league title.

Nicknamed “Moneybags”, Platinum had everything going well for them as they dismantled the core of Highlanders and Motor Action to snap up Joel and Zephaniah Ngodzo, Brighton Dube, Mernard Mupera, Charles Sibanda and Bheki Ncube, to build a solid team.

They raided Gunners to lure Tafadzwa Dube and Norman Maroto before taking Thabani Kamusoko from relegated Njube Sundowns and Khumbulani Banda from Bantu Rovers.

They kept goalkeeper Muranganwa Nengomasha, young Ray Sibanda and Donald Ngoma in their ranks while most of the players from 2010 promotion campaign were loaned to various clubs, and some probably at their own expense.

They brought in the late Benjamin Moyo as head coach, Philani Mabhena and Peter Nkomo as assistants — all with a Highlanders background.

Rahman Gumbo — with four league titles in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana to his name — joined them, on June 1 on a reported three-year deal.

Their Under-19 team has been promoted into Division One in the Central Region for the 2012 season under Jairos Tapera, while a number of future stars plucked from their schools attend Guinea Fowl High School.

Talk about planning for the future!
Gumbo will lead them into the Champions League next season despite word from Harare that either Moses Chunga or Lloyd Chitembwe will be hired come January.

In fact, Harare coaches are livid Platinum has not even bothered to take one of their own, even as an assistant coach to such an extent they are spreading rumours Gumbo had been given an ultimatum he should win the title or be fired on Sunday.

Platinum are working on their 2012 season and the Caf Champions League, starting today, with the entire technical team in place.

But this being a game of football, anything can happen.

For Platinum, this was a fairy tale — losing the league by goal difference. They scored 44 times and conceded 21 goals while champions Dynamos hit the net 42 times, but conceded 15 giving them a superior goal difference.

Platinum lost the plot in the 1-0 home loss to Dynamos via a Daniel Vheremu own goal at Mandava last Sunday.

Had they won, they would have been crowned champions on the same day — or a draw then would have seen them crowned on Sunday at Gwanzura.

They even had Zifa panicking, running in all sorts of directions to call in foreign match officials for the two Mbada Diamonds Cup semi-finals, when the bigger prize was the league title.

So high was the panic in Zifa they even forgot to attend to official complaints of poor match refereeing in the Gunners-Platinum (twice), Motor Action-Caps United and Motor Action-Zimbabwe Saints and concentrated on Dynamos’ unofficial complaints.

So high was the panic again, that in the name of protecting the sponsors, they even called a Press conference to thank Mbada for sponsoring the PSL cup even without the officials from the league itself.

At least, the PSL saw it fit to have all the games in the last four weeks played at the same time and same day to avoid match-fixing. This was unlike the Dynamos-Blackpool debacle in 1995 which we shall not talk about!

Gumbo missed out on a fifth title medal, Ngodzo a third having won in 2002 and 2006, Charles Sibanda and Bheki Ncube, on a second consecutive medal, after picking up one with Motor Action last year while Norman Maroto and Tafadzwa Dube also missed out after winning with Gunners in 2009.

So as the club prepares for 2012, one can safely say the Platinum project is here to stay!

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