Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League champions FC Platinum are looking forward to ending the season on a high by lifting the Super Cup trophy at the expense of relegated Harare City at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
The Super Cup, carrying a $30 000 winners’ prize money, is part of the PSL’s 25-year anniversary celebration and whoever wins the trophy this afternoon will get to keep it.
FC Platinum gaffer, Norman Mapeza, who was a then smooth faced 21-year-old turning out for Sokot Pniewy in the Polish Ekstraklasa League when the late larger than life figure Mercedes “Rambo” Sibanda lifted the League’s championship trophy in 1992 as the Highlanders captain, said he was eager to win today’s encounter and cap a memorable 2017 season that saw them beaten only twice.
“We are looking forward to winning this game and have the trophy remaining in Zvishavane. Since this is a cup game meant to celebrate the Premier Soccer League’s 25th anniversary and naturally it won’t be there next year, it will be good for us to win the match,” Mapeza said during a press conference on Thursday.
The League champions have been boosted by the assured presence of Kevin Moyo, Gerald Takwara, Rodwell Chinyengetere and Ali Sadiki who had been called up into the Warriors’ Cecafa squad which was due to leave for Kenya tomorrow. Zifa however, pulled out due to the volatile political situation in that country.
“It would have been good for our players to get the necessary international experience during the Cecafa tournament as that experience would have come in handy during our Caf Champions’ League campaign next year but still we are happy that we will now play this celebratory encounter with all our players,” said Mapeza,
He, however, said they were not taking their opponents lightly and had prepared well as they know that Harare City, under the shrewd Philani “Beefy” Ncube, would also want to exit the league in style.
The FC Platinum coach said football was played on the pitch, not outside and Harare City have also been preparing hard for this game and would not be pushovers.
Mapeza’s sentiments were echoed by midfielder enforcer and surprise exclusion from the Soccer Stars of the Year finalists, Winston Mhango.
“We are looking forward to the encounter and would want to add on to the silverware that we won last week on Saturday,” said Mhango.