TRIANGLE coach Taurai Mangwiro says he admires the way his FC Platinum counterpart Norman Mapeza (pictured) has modelled the Zvishavane outfit to become the dominant force on the local front.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
FC Platinum have enjoyed two remarkable seasons, where they have claimed two Premier Soccer League titles as well as two Castle Challenge Cups in two successive years.
With the league title having eluded the platinum miners since their entry into the top league in 2010, the coming on board of Mapeza changed the side’s fortunes.
At some point, the former Warriors captain and coach came under heavy criticism for failing to raise the standard at the financially stable club, but now, he has taken the club to a new level.
On Sunday, FC Platinum beat Triangle 2-0 to retain the Castle Challenge Cup.
After watching his charges outplayed by the league champions, Mangwiro expressed his admiration of the work that Mapeza has done at Pure Platinum Play.
“I have to admit that Norman has transformed this team to become the dominant force in our league,” he said. “They have been patient enough and the patience is now paying dividends. As it stands, they remain the strongest team considering how they have fared for the last two seasons.”
Mangwiro, who led Triangle to the Chibuku Super Cup title, said he wants to see his side take a leaf from the Zvishavane-based club.
“They have the players and the determination. It takes time for a coach to build such a squad, perhaps we have a lot to learn from them as a team,” he said.
“You can only be the best if you appreciate how others perform and learn from them. I think that is the right path to follow.”
Mapeza is tipped to win the Coach of the Year award for the second year running, after his side outshone the other 17 teams in the league to win the title.
With domestic matters having been despatched of, focus now shifts to the Caf Champions League for FC Patinum, who host CNaPs of Madagascar tomorrow in the second leg of their preliminary round tie.
The platinum miners have set their sights on emulating the Caps United class of 2017 that reached the group stages of the tournament.
Their record in Africa has been poor and that is something Mapeza will strive to improve as FC Platinum launch another assault at the lucrative top-tier club competition.
But having held CNaPs in a reverse fixture played in Madagascar, Mapeza and his lieutenants will be looking to utilise home advantage to progress to the first round.