From Paul Mundandi in Zvishavane
NORMAN Mapeza has kept faith in the squad that won him three cups and qualified for the Confederations Cup as FC Platinum prepare to return to the Africa safari next year.
The platinum miners will begin their campaign in the preliminary round with a clash against Kenyan side, Sofapaka, in Nairobi.
Naturally Mapeza had wanted to beef up his squad but the side has faced some obstacles which could force Mapeza to go it with the bulk of players he worked with since his arrival in Zvishavane during the second half of the year.
The only notable additions to the squad are former Black Rhinos striker Brian Muzondiwa and Nigel Papias who has been promoted from the FC Platinum juniors.
Platinum have lost out on dreadlocked Tendai Samanja and Themba Ndlovu who signed for Harare City. Simba Sithole a former Warriors striker is closely linked to the miners and is likely to pen a deal soon.
Mapeza however still has 10 slots to fill but according to their club spokesperson Chido Chizondo Platinum will register 25 players for the entire season. The side has to finalise their squad to be sent to Caf by next Wednesday when the deadline expires.
“Our coach wants 25 players for the entire season. We are still to finalise on our final list and once our coach is through we will avail the final squad to the press. I can only confirm that we have registered Nigel (Papias) a striker from our Under-19,” she said.
Michelle Katsvairo, Talbert Shumba, Benjamin Marere and Qadr Amin contracts were not renewed. James Marufu might also be on his way out from the Zvishavane based oufit.
Mapeza has however kept faith in veteran player Daniel Veremu who is the platinum miners’ captain. Veremu did not see much action last season as the coach was working on his weight.
He is the most experienced in the squad and commands a lot of respect from other players and still has a year to serve with the miners.
Ashley Mukwena, touted as the best buy from the miners from neighbours Shabanie Mine, was a flop as he did not impress in most of his games still has more two years to serve and will remain rooted at platinum.
James Marufu whose form dipped after the departure of Lloyd Mutasa is another player who has not impressed as well and it still remains to be seen whether his contract will be renewed during the weekend as platinum prepares to submit their list on the 30th of December.
Goalkeepers: Mhari, Francis Tizayi,*Godfrey Chisango
Defenders: Raphael Muduviwa, Kelvin Moyo, Elvis Moyo, Gift Bello, Daniel Veremu, Simon Shoko, Raymond Sibanda, Aaron Katebe, Ian Nekati *, James Marufu,
Midfielders: Wisdom Mutasa, Tatenda Dzumbunu, Walter Musona, Blessing Sahondo, Thabani Kamusoko, Allan Gahadzikwa , Emmaculate Mawuna, Winston Mhango, Marshall Mudehwe ,*Ashley Mukwena,
Strikers: Tarisai Rukanda, Nelson Maziwisa, Obrey Chola Chirwa, Donald Ngoma, Stephen Sibanda, Brian Muzondiwa, Nigel Papias
*Registration still to be confirmed