FC PLATINUM gaffer Norman Mapeza has revealed that his star-studded side has been unable to plug the void left by Rodwell Chinyengetere who left them in January to join ABSA Premiership side Baroka FC.
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Chinyengetere was FC Platinum’s stand-out player last season, where he netted 17 goals in their title winning season.
The industrious attacker claimed the Golden Boot and was also crowned 2018 Soccer Star of the Year, but has, however, struggled to nail down a first team jersey at Baroka.
Following Chinyengetere’s departure, the platinum miners acquired Lameck Nhamo and Godknows Murwira, who were both on the 2018 stars calendar.
They also roped in Perfect Chikwende from Bulawayo Chiefs and Rainsome Pavari from relegated Bulawayo City.
However, despite these acquisitions, Mapeza has on a number of occasions this season expressed worry on his side’s creativity and conversion rate.
So far, they have scored eleven goals in eight games and conceded five goals, with Ali Sadiki being the club’s leading goalscorer with two goals.
At a Press conference ahead of their clash against Yadah FC at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow, Mapeza admitted that his club missed Chinyengetere’s creativity and goal-scoring prowess.
“It has been difficult because if you look at our position, we were bound to lose one or two from our main players.
“When Rodwell left, I knew we were going to have some challenges, but at the end of the day, we don’t want to look down upon those guys who have remained here.
“So we have to keep giving them opportunities and telling them to always work hard.
“We will keep telling them that, he (Chinyengetere) was here and you can do the same, it is still up to the boys but it is always a challenge when you lose players.
“If you look at our standings at week 10 last season, Ngezi Platinum had not lost any game, but we had lost one game and drawn one. But this season, from position four going upwards, it is tight. This season is more competitive, “said Mapeza.
Mapeza is, however, hoping to maintain the winning momentum following an impressive 2-0 win over ZPC Kariba last weekend.
FC Platinum welcomed William Stima from injury, while they also miss the services of Lawrence Mhlanga, who is currently in camp with the Warriors