FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza is not losing sleep over missed signings as he prepares for the Caf Confederation Cup with the December 31 deadline for the registration of players looming.
The platinum miners will be the country’s sole representative in the African safari and are expected to assemble a squad that can compete with the best on the continent. Champions Dynamos are missing out from the Champions League due to financial problems.
Platinum were drawn against financially troubled Sofapaka of Kenya in the preliminary round with the first leg set for Valentine’s Day in Nairobi.
Should they win this tie, they will face the winner between Botswana Defence Forces and Young Africans of Tanzania with Tunisia giants Etoile du Sahel, who have won both the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, lying in wait in later rounds.
Unlike previous years the platinum miners have remained relatively quiet in the current transfer market with few names being rumoured to be on their radar. One of their targets Tendai Samanja is reported to have settled for Harare City hence he will not be joining the Zvishavane based side.
Samanja is following Taurayi Mangwiro, who was his coach last season at Caps United. Former Warriors forward Rodwell Chinyengetere’s nagging knee injury has halted his supposed move to the Midlands.
This publication is also reliably informed that they have signed Brian Muzondiwa from Black Rhinos with Emmanuel Mandiranga expected to complete his move in the next few days from How Mine.
But their inactivity in the market is not worrying Mapeza who has confidence in what is already at his disposal.
“Honestly, I am very confident with what we have. The squad we had last season is good and has the ability to compete in the Confederation Cup. We retained most of our players and I am not looking at making wholesale changes. We just want to add a few players to the list we already have maybe three or four because we already have a competitive side.
“I cannot divulge the names of the players we have signed or those we are still chasing, but the executive can answer on that,” Mapeza said.
The club’s media liaison officer Chido Chizondo said the club will finish their business in line with technical department’s recommendations before the Caf deadline.
“We have not done much business except retaining most of our players. The Caf deadline for registering players 31st of December and by that date we will have finished signing the players we want to be part of us. So far we have not completed signing any new player though,” Chizondo said. However, three players — Mitchelle Katsvairo, Benjamin Marere and Talbert Shumba — have been shown the exit and will not be at Mandava next season.
Since the coming in of the current executive at FC Platinum, led by president George Mawere they have made it very clear that they will not be spending much on players.
Instead they have opted on making use of their academy and an investment on junior players and seems to have remained true to that. They have an Under 19 team that is competing in the Central Region Division One league.
Their trust in the juniors is seemingly reaping huge benefits with these youngsters being the mainstay of their team last season.
Wisdom Mutasa, Walter Musona, Obrey Chirwa, Tatenda Dzumbunu, Raphael Mudhuviwa, the Moyo twins Kelvin and Elvis are the notable standout performers at the club.
The fact that the above mentioned are still eligible to play for the national Under-23 sides of their respective nationalities shows that the future is bright for Pure Platinum Play.
Meanwhile, Platinum have allayed fears that their second leg tie against Sofapaka, set for the weekend of February 27/28 will be played in Bulawayo due to lack of accommodation in the mining town.
“Contrary to reports that the return leg against Sofapaka will be played in Bulawayo, please be advised that match venues and actual dates are yet to be released until Caf Grounds and Security inspections have been finalised. The inspectors will only be visiting Mandava in early January 2015. As it is we have registered Mandava Stadium as the venue of that match and are very confident that the match will be played in Zvishavane,” Platinum said on their official Facebook and Twitter pages.
In 2012, Platinum were forced to play El Merreikh of Sudan in Harare as there was no suitable accommodation in Zvishavane. In the previous round, they had accommodated Green Mamba of Swaziland in Masvingo — 95km away.