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FC Platinum new boys out to surprise Bosso

by Ricky Zililo
19 Mar 2016 at 11:13hrs | Views
FC Platinum whose pre-season training has been low-key, are likely to surprise Highlanders in today's ZNA Charities Shield semi-final at Barbourfields Stadium by fielding new signings.

Unlike Highlanders who fielded just one new signing, striker Kasimero Chimbadzwa in the quarter-final against Chicken Inn, FC Platinum fielded four of their latest acquisitions that include goalkeeper Wallace Magalane and midfielders Nqobizitha Masuku, Hillary Bakacheza and Rodwell Chinyengetere against How Mine.

The 2014 winners of the ZNA Charities Shield beat How Mine 1-2, getting their goals from Winston Mhango and Walter Musona. FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza hinted that he will give his new signings game time as he wants to see how his side is gelling.

"My new players have been doing well at training and on Saturday it will be a chance for us to see how we've progressed," Mapeza said. Winger Ishmael Wadi who almost joined Highlanders last July and is now on loan at FC Platinum with Magalane and defender Last Sithole, is expected to play against the Bulawayo giants.

A hamstring injury ruled Wadi from the 2-1 win over How Mine a fortnight ago but the dribbling wizard has recovered in time for the Bulawayo trip.

Besides new signings, FC Platinum will also pin their hopes on players who were key in their 2015 run which saw them challenge Chicken Inn for the title.

Holding midfielder Mhango, defenders Elvis Moyo, Gift Bello and Kevin Moyo, strikers Brian Muzondiwa and Obrey Chirwa are some of FC platinum's players to watch.

While FC Platinum have made their intentions of seeing how their new signings are settling known, it remains to be seen whether the fear to lose will get the better of Highlanders coach Erol Akbay who fielded senior players in their quarter-final win against Chicken Inn.

Akbay seems to be gripped by pressure for immediate results by playing tried and tested players instead of laying the foundation to build a new squad.

If the Dutchman and Highlanders are serious on rebuilding, then they have to decide now to take the risk of using youngsters at such competitions so that they gain experience.

Some of the youngsters that showed glimpses of brilliance and even won supporters' approval are striker Prince Dube and midfielders Adrian Silla, McCarthy Dube, Danmore Chakwana and Brian Banda.

Only Dube featured against Chicken Inn, coming in as a second half substitute and the rest could not make it to the bench.

With striker Knox Mutizwa set to leave the club to join Bidvets Wits of South Africa, games like the ZNA Charities Shield can be used to give Dube and his peers game time.

The telepathic understanding between Dube, Silla and Chakwana can make them a deadly combination and a nightmare for opposition teams on a good day.

Meanwhile, organisers of the tournament have reduced gate charges for the rest of the ground to $2.

Fans who want to watch from the wings will pay $5 with those going into the VIP parting with $10.

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Source - chronicle