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FBC backs Platinum

PREMIERSHIP side FC Platinum look set to enjoy another stint with diversified financial group FBC Holdings after the commercial bank stated its commitements to the football club this season.

PREMIERSHIP side FC Platinum look set to enjoy another stint with diversified financial group FBC Holdings after the commercial bank stated its commitements to the football club this season. REPORT BY WELLINGTON TONI SPORTS EDITOR

The club, in its third year in the top flight, clinched the FBC MasterCard deal last season and used branded jerseys in their debut Caf Champions League and the Castle Lager Premiership season.

The club received $250 000 from the back in the last quarter of 2012 where the group’s marketing manager Priscilla Sadomba pledged their continued support.

“We believe in the club. It is one of the youngest teams in Zimbabwe that has shown a lot of mettle against seasoned clubs. As FBC, we are part of that journey and we hope that FC Platinum will be a force to reckon with on the domestic and international scene,” she said.

Sadomba also told NewsDay Sport during an end-of-year cocktail party in December: “We are in there for the long term with Platinum. We might not have a contract, but this is a long-term relationship.”

Speaking before handing over the reins to new club president George Mawere last Saturday in Zvishavane during their end-ofyear awards presentation, Nathan Shoko, now the honorary president, also confirmed the deal. “We have a long relationship with the bank that looks ahead to the future. We are in there together.”

FBC is the second bank in the Premiership after BancABC, who are sponsors of Dynamos, Highlanders and Black Mambas.

Shoko said Platinum would look ahead to the new season determined to do better than in the last two years where they finished second in 2011 and seventh in 2012. Last season also saw them play in the Caf Champions League and win the Bob88 Super Cup and the Independence Trophy.

“”We are not seeking to better anyone except ourselves and we are going to pick ourselves up. We are often talked about on negative and positive things, but we are proud because we are ahead of those who talk about us.”

The club already runs its own sports bar, lounge, fitness centre and service station and have developed Mandava Stadium into a state-of-the-art facility with doping test rooms. They are planning to build a football village in the near future, to be run along the lines of South African giants Kaizer Chiefs’ Naturena. Unlike other clubs, who thrive on sponsorships and funding from individuals, Platinum, founded in 1995 as Mimosa after the parent company, have embarked on projects that will make them self-sustainable.

“This is an institution that should thrive to be sustainable. Yes, it will take time, but it will be sustainable eventually,” Shoko said.

During the awards night, Ali Sadiki was crowned the Player of the Year, taking home $3 000, while Welcome Ndiweni was named the Players’ Player of the Year getting $1 250.

Mitchell Katsvairo won the Top Goal Scorer of the Year award and the Most Disciplined Player of the Year taking home $1 500.

Thabani Kamusoko walked away with the Impact Player of the Year award, an accolade which went with a cool $1 000.

Joel “Josta” Ngodzo was also rewarded for scoring the club’s Goal of the Season, skipper Daniel Vheremu was crowned the Most Consistent Player for 2011 while the Rookie of the Year award went to Raphael Mudiwa.