The Sunday Mail
FC PLATINUM are unbeaten at home in 35 matches and their coach Norman Mapeza says playing at Mandava gives his team wings.
Pure Platinum Play last tasted a home defeat at Mandava on June 11, 2016, falling to a ZPC Kariba side that was coached by Sunday Chidzambwa.
“We always try by all means to maximise on our home advantage, the boys are always motivated to fight to the bitter end whenever they play at Mandava,” Mapeza told The Sunday Mail Sport as he reflected on the first half of the 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.
“The atmosphere at Mandava is just fantastic, the fans have always been supportive and my players take it to another level whenever we play at home.” FC Platinum have lost 13 times in 115 games at Mandava since their first ever PSL home match on March 26, 2011 which ended with a 2-0 victory over the now defunct Shooting Stars.
Mapeza believes the strong home showing is a sign of the things they do well away from the pitch.
“We always talk about respect for the game, respect for this football career because we survive from it. I also tell my players to look after themselves off the pitch because there is life after football, which is very difficult to manage,” said Mapeza.
“After all football is about understanding each other, it is about mutual respect between players and the technical staff. And we are always striving to become a better team, not just a collection of players.”
With 44 points after 17 games, FC Platinum are six points clear of Tonderai Ndiraya’s Ngezi Platinum Stars but Mapeza says there are more twists and turns in store.
“Like I always say, it’s a long marathon and we have done very well in the first half of the season.
“The second half of the season won’t be easy, some clubs will be fighting relegation, other for the top eight and others for the league title. We will need to be strong psychologically,” he said.