By Eddie Chikamhi
Champions FC Platinum say they want to win a fourth straight league title this year to celebrate their Silver Jubilee in style.
A fourth title on the trot will see the Zvishavane side match the record set by Dynamos between 1980 and 1983 and Highlanders between 1999 and 2002.
The Glamour Boys also won four straight league titles under the guidance of Callisto Pasuwa between 2011 and 2014.
Ironically, Pasuwa and his men edged FC Platinum, who appeared odd-on favourites to be champions in 2011, to lay the foundation for their dominance.
Needing just a draw, in their penultimate league match against Dynamos at Mandava to virtually secure their maiden crown, FC Platinum choked and lost that match 0-1.
The following week, DeMbare completed a routine win over Kiglon to be crowned champions.
However, the country’s biggest football club are yet to win a league championship in six years while FC Platinum have won the last three in a row.
The Zvishavane miners came from behind, in the final stretch last season, to beat CAPS United to the title with the suffocating Green Machine eventually ending in third place.
This year will mark FC Platinum’s Silver Jubilee and they want another league title to celebrate the occasion.
Club spokesperson, Chido Chizondo, yesterday said they have a lot to celebrate this year.
They will first meet in Zvishavane next Friday for an official club event that is expected to set the tone for the Silver Jubilee celebrations.
FC Platinum begin their 2020 campaign, with the season-opening Castle Cup against giants Highlanders, at Barbourfields on March 14.
Chizondo said they were working on a number of activities for the year.
“We are celebrating 25 years in the football business this year,” said Chizondo.
“The most important thing is we are commemorating the Jubilee and then the success and accolades that we have won as a club since 1995.
“How, we have transitioned from Mimosa FC to FC Platinum is one of the greatest achievements to date.
“So, apart from targeting the championship again, this is going to be a year of celebrations and also, hopefully, getting to find our feet in Africa.
“We have already begun the campaign on our social media platforms, just to raise awareness. The management is working on the programme for the year and we will give updates as we go.’’
According to information on their website, FC Platinum was formed on July 1, 1995 as a social club to entertain Mimosa Mining Company employees residing at the mine.
They were known as Mimosa Football Club.
The team was promoted into Division Two, enduring a two-year stint, before promotion into the ZIFA Central Region Division 1 league.
They were relegated in the same year.
The team finally regained their place in Division One in 2004 after four years under the guidance of former Warriors forward Luke Petros and John Phiri.
They were promoted into the Castle Lager Premiership in 2011 under the leadership of Jairos Tapera and, in the very same year, their name was changed to FC Platinum.
The platinum miners announced themselves in the top-flight league in a very big way as they competed toe-to-toe with Dynamos for the title in their maiden season.
However, they lost to their more experienced rivals, on the last day of the campaign, after finishing level on 58 points but having an inferior goal difference.
FC Platinum also reached the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup the same year and had two players — goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube and striker Donald Ngoma — on the Soccer Star of the Year calendar.
The Zvishavane miners will also mark 10 years of Premiership football this year in which they have been champions three times.
They have established themselves among the big boys after winning three championships in the nine seasons they have been playing top-flight football.
They also became the first club from outside Harare and Bulawayo to be crowned champions in the post-Independence era.
The last club to achieve that had been St Paul’s Musami, 51 years before FC Platinum became champions.
The Zvishavane miners have also won the Chibuku Super Cup, the Independence Cup and the ZNA Charity Shield.
They are also now regular participants at the highest level of the CAF inter-club football tournaments where they have been representing Zimbabwe four times in the Champions League.
They are set for a fifth bow this year but they have largely disappointed in the continental competitions.
They made the group stage in the last two campaigns but they could not make their mark.
The Premier Soccer League yesterday announced the platinum miners will face Bosso on March 14 to kick off the 2020 season.
“We are pleased to announce that the Castle Challenge Cup between FC Platinum and Highlanders FC is scheduled to be played at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday March 14, 2020.
“The Castle Challenge Cup winners will receive a sum of $400 000 and the runners up will receive $250 000.
“The gate charges for the said match are as follows: Rest of ground: $50, VIP: $100 and VVIP: $200. Please be advised that the 2020 Castle Lager PSL sponsorship will be unveiled soon,” said the PSL in a statement yesterday. The Herald