FC Platinum Overhauls Squad: Eight Veteran Players Released

Zimbabwe's FC Platinum Ushers in New Era with Strategic Player Changes

by Oluwatosin Alabi

Former Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions FC Platinum (FCP) have made a significant shift in their squad ahead of the 2024 season. The club has decided not to renew the contracts of several ageing players, marking a strategic change in their team dynamics.

More than half a dozen senior players have been released from the squad, with the club expected to announce their replacements shortly. The list of players includes captain Petros Mhari, Innocent Mucheneka, Perfect Chikwende, former Soccer Star of the Year Walter Musona, Raphael Muduviwa, Nomore Chinyerere, Gift Mbweti, and the 39-year-old veteran, Gift Bello.

Gift Bello’s departure is notable, having joined FC Platinum in February 2014 from Dynamos. He has played over 300 matches for the Zvishavane-based club, making a significant contribution to the team over the years.

FCP spokesperson, Chido Chizondo, clarified the nature of these changes in a statement on Wednesday, 10 January. “We are not rebuilding. It’s just that the coach has indicated he wants fresh legs and so there was no renewal of contracts that ended in December,” Chizondo explained to the Chronicle.

Despite these significant departures, FC Platinum has retained key players from the previous season. This includes Brian Banda, Jean Mutudza, Jarrison Selemani, Rainsome Pavari, Lawrence Mhlanga, Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya, Panashe Mutimbanyoka, Kelvin Mangiza, and Hagiazo Magaya, who are all expected to play pivotal roles in the upcoming season.

The team, known as Pure Platinum Play, had a remarkable run of four straight league titles from 2017, equalling records set by Dynamos and Highlanders. However, their dominance was interrupted in 2023 when Ngezi Platinum Stars clinched the premiership title for the first time. FC Platinum finished the season in fourth place, 11 points off the pace.

This strategic overhaul comes at a crucial time for FC Platinum, as they aim to reclaim their top spot in Zimbabwean football. The release of these eight players, including the team’s captain, signifies a new chapter for the club as they seek to inject new energy and dynamics into the team.

The decision to refresh the squad with new talent while maintaining a core group of experienced players could prove to be a masterstroke. It reflects a balance between preserving the team’s strong foundation and introducing new vigor to enhance their competitive edge.

As the 2024 season approaches, all eyes will be on FC Platinum to see how these changes translate on the field. Will this strategic shift bring them back to their winning ways, or will it take time for the new squad to gel and find their rhythm? Only time will tell, but one thing is certain: FC Platinum is not afraid to make bold moves in pursuit of success.

With the Zimbabwean football scene continually evolving, FC Platinum’s latest move could set a precedent for other clubs in the league. It highlights the importance of adapting to changing dynamics in sports, where the blend of experience and fresh talent is key to maintaining a competitive edge.

FC Platinum’s decision to release these eight senior players is a clear indication of their commitment to staying at the forefront of Zimbabwean football. As the new season looms, fans and critics alike will be keenly watching to see how this new-look team performs under the guidance of their coach and the leadership of their remaining key players.

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