FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza has heaped praise on defender Lawrence Mhlanga, who despite spending a year on the sidelines, put up a sterling performance on his Castle Lager Premier Soccer League debut for the miners.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
The 25-year-old centre-back had been subject of an ownership wrangle that involved his former paymasters Chicken Inn, who claimed the player belonged to them after FC Platinum had signed him.
For a full season, Mhlanga was languishing in the peripheries before the Zifa Player’s Status Committee cleared him to play for FC Platinum, while sanctioning Chicken Inn for unreasonably withholding the player’s clearance.
Though the miners only salvaged a point on his league debut against Triangle, Mhlanga was resolute, as he combined well with Kelvin Moyo in defence for the Zvishavane side.
Speaking to NewsDay Sport, Mapeza said all players on the local front should learn from Mhlanga’s case.
“Lawrence is a good player and he is one of the best defenders in the country. Spending the whole season on the sidelines without an injury is not easy and I must say he is brave. Had it been someone, we could have been talking of another story and his performance already shows that he is getting back on track. His contribution was immense in our last game and having him around gives us a lot of selection options,” the platinum miners gaffer said .
The Zvishavane-based side fell three points behind log leaders Ngezi Platinum, having been held to a goalless draw by an in-form Triangle over the weekend.
With four unforgiving fixtures lined up for them — against Dynamos, Highlanders, Ngezi Platinum and Shabanie Mine — their quest to retain the league championship set to fall under spotlight.