Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
A FEW days ago, Norman Mapeza and Taurayi Mangwiro were jointly crowned Coach of the Month for November, but tomorrow the two tacticians will be sitting on opposite ends as they seek to finish the season with a flourish in the Castle Challenge Cup at Mandava.
The match, which brings the curtain down on the 2018 season, features league champions against winners of the main knockout tournament, the Chibuku Super Cup.
And league champions FC Platinum will be looking for a repeat of last year when they finished with a double after beating Harare City at the same venue.
The platinum miners will use the game to prepare for the return leg of the CAF Champions League preliminary round tie against CNaPS Sport of Madagascar set for next Wednesday following a 1-1 draw in Antananarivo on Wednesday.
However, they should expect tough competition from Triangle, who recently won their maiden Chibuku Super Cup title.
Triangle coach Taurayi Mangwiro yesterday said he wants to finish the season on a high. The Sugar Sugar Boys will be aiming to take it from where they left off in their last meeting when they beat the platinum miners 3-1 at Gibbo.
“We would want to finish on a high. We have done fairly well in the last five games and we don’t want to spoil it.
“At the same time we know that our opponents are in the midst of the CAF Champions League. The games that we have played against them have been largely entertaining and we expect that in this encounter.
“Also, we have no problem playing at Mandava. If anything, it’s time for us to also honour them for winning the league.
“Yes, we might be the Chibuku Super Cup champions, but it took us four games to win the title, but they have been champions because they have been very consistent in 34 league games.
“So I don’t feel offended in them playing at home, but at the same time we should also be fancying our chances,” said Mangwiro.
FC Platinum have been in devastating form winning the league with two games to spare and a massive 13 points ahead of runners-up Ngezi Platinum Stars.
Along the way, FC Platinum have dominated the awards with Mapeza setting up a record of five monthly accolades inside a calendar year.
This places him as the favourite for the Coach of the Year award after leading FC Platinum to their second league title in succession.
FC Platinum aim to put icing on the cake by winning the challenge cup tomorrow although Mapeza is likely to rest some of his key players ahead of the Champions League return match.
But for Mangwiro, it will be all systems go. The Triangle coach has dedicated his Coach of the Month accolade to his team.
The Lowveld side should be over the moon as skipper Nhamo Lameck, who is soon to cross the floor and join the platinum miners, was the Player of the Month and was one of two of their players who made it to the Soccer Stars calendar.
“It’s a good ending to the season. It’s everyone’s dream to be winning these awards and just like I said to the players, whenever we play, let’s play with an ambition and as a result we are getting a reward.
“But this one is for the whole team. It’s because of the good work that we put in as a team. Although at the end of the day it’s my name that comes to the fore, I have got a technical team that I work with and these are the guys that I would want to dedicate this award to. I also want to dedicate it to our leadership.
“They have been there for us and if we were not pulling in the same direction obviously we were not going to make it. Most importantly the role of the fans, they have been there for the team and it’s good that at the end of it all people are now seeing the good work we put in as a team,” said Mangwiro.