Financial muscle spurs Ngezi Platinum

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Tonderai Ndiraya

Chipo Sabeta
The dominant performance by the rich pacesetters, Ngezi Platinum Stars FC in the Castle Lager Premiership League shows the difference in financial muscle between the team and the chasing pack.

The Ngezi-based side opened with a two-point lead and are at the summit of the log table, after just five games.

Ngezi Platinum Stars FC have undergone remarkable transformation since their promotion to the elite league three years ago. This is largely due to the club’s high level of organisation, professionalism and importantly, unrivalled financial muscle.

They are sponsored by Zimbabwe’s biggest platinum miner, Zimplats, an Australia Stock Exchange-listed platinum mining group owned by global platinum giant Implats.

Ngezi Platinum Stars FC’s unerring march is also a reflection of a sound financial backing by its parent sponsor Zimplats, the second largest mineral exporter after gold.

At the beginning of the season, the Mhondoro miners unveiled nine new players that coach Tonderai Ndiraya believes will strengthen the team while other big clubs were struggling to hold on to their stars.

The club recently hired a club nutritionist, performance analyst and fitness trainers.

In its bid to become a fully-fledged professional club, which follows modern trends, Ngezi Platinum further refurbished their home ground Baobab, a stadium that is only two-years old and already is one of the best facilities in the top-flight football.

Traditional giants like Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United are struggling financially and have been forced to hold trials to recruit players after giving up on the competition for big names.

FC Platinum are the 2017 defending champions.

The victory against Chicken Inn last weekend, was Ngezi Platinum’s 5th straight victory in the league, something that they had never achieved since promotion in 2016.

With five games gone, “Madamburo” are looking unstoppable in pursuit of a first league title as they lead the Castle Lager Premiership with 15 points.

Its little wonder they find themselves 6 points clear of Premier league traditional giants CAPS United and 13 points ahead of Dynamos, so early in the campaign.

“We have a strong squad that should give us the results that we desire. Last season we finished third, and quite frankly it’s only reasonable for us to go for the big prize. In fact, we are going into every competition to win the big prize. Last year we had earmarked top four, which was very good for us. Now we have shifted our target a bit higher to the more difficult one,” Ndiraya said before the season’s kick off.

With the Ngezi Platinum juggernaut showing no sign of slowing down, Ndiraya’s side are eager to tear up the record books on a weekly basis and setting new standards, not only for themselves but in the Premier League.

Last week, Clive Augusto injury time strike proved adequate to hand the home team all three points against Joey Antipas’s men.

It also pointed to the depth of attacking talent at their disposal, with Donald Teguru, Xolisani Moyo, Terence Dzvukamanja, Walter Mukanga, Clive Augusto playing a crucial part upfront.

The players are beginning to dominate the Premier League leading scorers’ chart as well, with Augusto and Moyo sitting on two goals so far while they continue with a 35-match unbeaten home record.

A glance at their attacking statistics shows all their forwards are in outstanding form across all departments.

Highly rated goalkeeper, Donovan Bernard’s saves have been breath-taking, as well as crucial as he has maintained a clean sheet and has saved a penalty in the 472 minutes he has played.

The club bosses made it clear that they want their brand to become the team of choice for every good player in the Premiership.

They are also eager to become one of the best clubs on the domestic front and to be regarded a giant among such teams like Dynamos, Highlanders, CAPS United, and FC Platinum.

A potentially explosive encounter is expected this weekend when they clash against Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium.

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