By Eddie Chikamhi
EDWARD SADOMBA says the Big Three – Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders – have to search their soul and find a way to transform themselves into champions again.
The 36-year-old officially retired from football at the end of the domestic Premiership after one swansong campaign at his beloved Glamour Boys.
DeMbare never featured in the championship race, Bosso even flirted with relegation and the Green Machine were beaten at the wire by FC Platinum.
The Zvishavane miners won the title for the third season on the bounce.
Three of the top four teams – FC Platinum, Chicken Inn and Ngezi Platinum – all have a strong corporate background.
“Dynamos, CAPS United and Highlanders should be at the top if we are to be fair with Zimbabwean football,” said Sadomba.
“They shouldn’t be seen to be fighting for survival like they usually do. Instead, they should be models of management and success because they have been there longer before most of these clubs were established.
“They also have the support base. Look where their peers like TP Mazembe and Kaizer Chiefs are. It’s all about sound management systems and marketing. My wish is to see them among the top 30 of African clubs. They just need to shift the mindset.”
FC Platinum becomes the first club from outside Harare and Bulawayo to complete a hat-trick of league titles.
The Premier Soccer League confirmed yesterday that they will be presented with a replica trophy for keeps in Zvishavane, in accordance with the league’s regulations.
Giants Dynamos and Highlanders were the only teams who held such a distinction.
The platinum miners got $200 000 in prize money for winning this year’s competition.
Besides investing in infrastructure at Mandava Stadium, they have development structures, including an Under-19 team that plays in the Central Region Division One league and an academy housed at Guinea Fowl High School, about 95 km from Zvishavane. “I think we have been in ascendency for a while now,” said club chairman Evans Mtombeni.
“It’s not an event but a process, these are results of a system that we have been putting in place since we got promotion in 2011.
“What is important is to have a system in place. I also think we have committed personnel who continue to show hunger for success both on and off the pitch.”
Their sponsors FC Platinum Holdings have made sure that the club is well resourced.
The club was weaned off from parent company Mimosa Mining Company in 2014 and placed under FC Platinum Holdings, a company that is into labour broking, engineering and entertainment.
All the profits from the company are channeled towards sports development.
As a result, negative stories about strikes or threats of boycotts have never been reported in their football camp because of the club’s strong financial standing. Recently they chartered a plane to Mozambique to play a CAF Champions League match against UD Songo.
Despite the recent success, Mtombeni said they were still hoping to beef up their squad and invest in upgrading their systems to bolster their team for future challenges.
“While money doesn’t win you games, we are grateful to our sponsors for making everything possible,” he said.
“They have made sure that our operations are as smooth as possible. I think I am afraid to tell our 17 opponents that we will be intending to beef up our squad.
“We have been fighting on many fronts in the domestic league and the CAF competitions.
“While we have been doing well and winning championships at home, somehow we have fallen short in the continental competitions. Without taking anything away from our players, I think we need more quality for the Champions League.
“So, when we plan for next season, we will plan with the Champions League in mind.”