Mukudzei Chingwere Midlands Bureau
FC PLATINUM hitherto unknown goalkeeper Wallace Magalane is becoming an unlikely hero for the Zvishavane miners as they push for the elusive league crown. The platinum miners are on course for their maiden title as they join leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars at the top with 63 points apiece, two ahead of Dynamos. Although they trail the Mhondoro miners courtesy of an inferior goal difference, FC platinum coach Norman Mapeza has told his close associates and players that this is their year to wrestle the championship crown from the country’s big two cities Harare and Bulawayo to the small mining town of Zvishavane.
Mapeza made a few changes in mid-season with notable recruitments of veteran forwards Takesure Chinyama, Mkhokheli Dube and Ali Sadiki tasked with leading the seemingly impotent attack that had been struggling to hit the net with some semblance of regularity. Pure Platinum Play’s supporters invested a lot of trust and hope following the capture of Chinyama with the forward buoyant upon arrival in Zvishavane equating himself to the iconic Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
But a little research on the player will have discouraged Mapeza recruiting the forward, Chinyama now walks with limp akin to that of Sunday Chidzambwa with a condition that seems like a permanent disability. But all the disappointments of Chinyama of scoring just one league goal have been enveloped by the brilliance of the 24 year old Magalane who has managed to keep eight clean sheets out of 10 games since relegating 2016 Goalkeeper of the Year Petros Mhari to the bench. The former Bulawayo City goalkeeper remains steadfast amid his rising fame crediting his success to his coaches and cover Mhari.
“It is not Wallace who is keeping the clean sheets but the team as a group is doing well both defensively and in attack, we do everything as a team. I have learnt a lot from Petros he has given me a lot of support to be able to compete at this stage and I am really grateful. I will not say I have relegated him (Mhari) to the bench but I was just given the chance to play not that I am better than him. He is still a very good goalkeeper and I am still learning from him.
“My coach has always been very supportive and he encouraged me to compete against the very best. Playing at this important stage of the season shows that they trust me and I do not want to betray their trust. Hard work will keep us going and I hope we achieve a lot as a group I do not want to talk much about objectives of the team but what I can say is that we always work hard as a group to get maximum points in all the matches we will be playing,” said Magalane. Coach Mapeza has insisted that his team’s success cannot be attributed to an individual but is a collective group effort.
“I am happy for him he has done well but let us not forget what Petros has done for the club. I am hearing a lot about Wallace but let us not distract him and give him a chance to develop into becoming a better player. It is not about the individual but we work as team,” said Mapeza. On paper the title now appears to be for FC Platinum’s to lose, they are left with two winnable fixtures away to Tsholotsho and Chapungu, their difficult game will be against Ngezi Platinum but territorial advantage gives the Zvishavane side the edge with the match slated for Mandava.