SEVEN years after gaining promotion into the top-flight, FC Platinum appear to have struck the right chord, winning two consecutive Premier Soccer League (PSL) titles.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Following years of near misses, accompanied by some measure of criticism, there is no doubt that FC Platinum’s success is the greatest football story of this PSL age.
From twice finishing as bridesmaids, the platinum miners have not only bettered their feat, but reached another milestone, unthinkably becoming the first side out of the Harare and Bulawayo domain to win two back-to-back titles, setting up a new era in the premiership.
Brilliantly marshalled by Norman Mapeza, FC Platinum have become the torch-bearers of Midlands province and they look well poised to dominate the local game for more years to come.
While the traditional heavyweights such as Highlanders, Dynamos and CAPS United have stagnated, the Zvishavane side has not simply capitalised on the weakness of others, but moved a step ahead.
It has been a high stakes game where in 2017 they shrugged off stiff competition from serial champions Dynamos to swoop their first title.
This season they proved to be in a class of their own as they won their second title by a massive 11-point gap ahead of their closest contenders, Ngezi Platinum.
To buttress their success in the league, the platinum miners have also brought two Castle Challenge Cups into their trophy cabinet while providing the most number of players on the 2018 Soccer Stars calendar this year.
Reigning Player of the Year Rodwell Chinyengetere, Farai Madhanhanga and last year’s second runner-up Kevin Moyo made the list of the Soccer Stars of the Year finalists following the selection process in Harare recently.
Club president George Mawere attributes the club’s success to patience and hard work.
“As the FC Platinum family, we are truly humbled to have successfully defended the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title. Being the 2018 champions is testament to the work ethic and dedication of the FC Platinum team,” he said.
“The road to this accolade has been paved with challenges and heartaches, turbulence and disappointments.
“However, the path was also embodied with treasured moments that gave the team the energy to keep on forging ahead.
“Throughout the season, we have exhibited passion and determination, driven by the hunger to remain at the top and prove to the non-believers that last year’s achievement was not a fluke.”
He added: “Our journey has been guided by our philosophy to achieve positive results whilst measuring ourselves against the highest professional standards.
“We strongly believe we can become a football powerhouse not only locally, but in Africa.”
According to Mawere, FC Platinum’s ultimate goal is to become the leading football brand in Africa.
In line with their goal, they recently secured a place in the first round of the CAF Champions League after overcoming CNaPS of Madagascar.
Now the bubbling PSL champions face As Otoho of Congo Brazzaville in the next phase of the tournament.
“While some pundits attributed last season’s success to luck and our plans to defend the title as being over-ambitious, we remained focused and disciplined. With our fortitude and touches of brilliance, we gratefully hit our mark and became the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions,” Mawere said.
“Hats off to the entire FC Platinum family for exhibiting this kind of tenacity.
“As we celebrate this success, we are mindful that our vision is to become the leading football brand in Africa. This vision has no easy road. It demands from us resources — both material and talent.
“It calls upon us to humbly search for the guidance and support of the entire nation. As we are on the African Safari, we carry the pride of the nation and we promise to faithfully represent our kinsmen befittingly.”
Off the field of play, FC Platinum Holdings have created a conducive atmosphere for the players to develop themselves by catering for all their financial requirements.
Since its formation in 2014, FC Platinum holdings has been the driving force behind the team, as they have been their main benefactor and their strenuous efforts have been rewarded with two consecutive titles.
The club’s history dates back to formation in 1995 as a social club to entertain Mimosa Mining Company employees residing at the mine.
The club changed its name from Mimosa Football Club in 2011. They were eventually weaned off Mimosa Mining Company in 2014 and are now wholly owned by FC Platinum Holdings, a holding company that is into labour broking, engineering and entertainment.
The club gained promotion into the elite league in 2010 after winning the Central Region Soccer League. The club has been playing in the top-flight since then and has managed to win some notable silverware.