IF you have been to Zvishavane to watch FC Platinum play at home, you will understand why this has been an amazing year for the club and Zimbabwean football at large.
Sports Panorama with Enock Muchinjo
I was there in 2011 when Platinum needed only to avoid defeat against Dynamos to put themselves in a very strong position to achieve the incredible feat of winning the league title in the club’s very first season in the PSL.
That did not happen, and Dynamos won the first of its four straight titles that year.
Heart-shattering it was, but what was heartening to see was that in a very short time, this young club had achieved what no other in Zimbabwean football history had achieved: established a status as a big team in the land.
The facilities at Mandava Stadium looked top-notch, some of the best sporting infrastructure you will see in any part of Zimbabwe—located in a small mining district, an outpost of the country really, deep in the middle of a dusty and impoverished settlement of the town.
To this day, this makes the place so unique, so special and one of a kind.
The people running the club seemed to know what they were doing and it showed in the professionalism and the swagger with which the team carried itself.
The work ethic was admirable and the devotion to a scientific football philosophy was also something to emulate.
The fans looked genuine in support of the pride of their town, and the anguish of losing to Dynamos was heavily etched on their faces. Such sudden rise to prominence was unprecedented in this country.
We were witnessing the birth of a new “big” club in Zimbabwean football and it was truly beautiful. From a neutral’s point of view, you only hoped that Platinum move from strength to strength and become champions of the country sooner than later.
To show that foresight and hard work bear fruit, Platinum just had to be rewarded for their outstanding effort in painting a good picture of Zimbabwean football.
Where some of the country’s traditional big clubs are run like tuckshops, it was very important that a shining example like Platinum prove to all and sundry that there are no shortcuts to success.
It has taken six years.
But time has done nothing to bust the pragmatism that professionalism does work.
Now the 2017 PSL season is over and Platinum are champions for the first time. Their nearest rivals for the title put a good fight and for that they must be applauded for giving us a season to remember.
But to the champions, Platinum, I say here’s to many more years of success. Continue to grow and blossom every single season.