BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Despite leading FC Platinum to their third Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title on the trot, interim coach Lizwe Sweswe has not passed the test and is set to revert to his position as assistant coach with the club on the hunt for a substantive coach to fill the void left by Norman Mapeza.
FC Platinum defeated Caps United last Saturday to clinch the title and many expected that Sweswe would be elevated to the top post, but the hierarchy at the platinum miners is not convinced he can take them where they want.
NewsDay Sport is informed that Dynamos and Highlanders coaches Tonderai Ndiraya and Pieter de Jongh have been sounded over the job in the last few months.
De Jongh’s contract with Highlanders expires at the end of this month.
FC Platinum spokesperson Chido Chizondo said that Sweswe still had a contract as an assistant coach that runs until next year.
“We are still participating in the Champions League and coach Sweswe has a running contract until 2020. If there are any changes, we will advise,” she said.
While in the domestic league he passed the test by winning the title, it is in the Caf Champions League where he appears to be falling short with the team struggling in the group phase where they are yet to regitster at least a draw after two matches.
FC Platinum kicked off the group stage with a 2-1 defeat to Al Hilal of Sudan before being pummelled 3-0 by Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel at Barbourfields Stadium two weeks ago. The Zvishavane-based side had set its sights on improving from their previous outing last year.
They wanted to step up and at least progress to the knockout stages of the tournament, but from the way they have fared so far they are likely to fall by the wayside.
While they sought improvement the results so far have shown that they have regressed after shipping in five goals and scoring one in the two matches.
To his credit though, it was Sweswe who led the team to the group stage of the premier continental club showcase, yet doubts over his capabilities still remain.
He will preside over the team in their next Champions League match against Egyptian giants Al Ahly next Saturday.
After that they will host the eight-time continental champions on Valentine’s Day.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum has signed Manica Diamonds midfielder Stanley Ngala as they make their first step towards fortifying their squad for next year.
Triangle’s Ralph Kawondera will also officially become an FC Platinum player once his contract runs out at the end of this month.
More arrivals are expected in the next three months as the platinum miners look to beef up their squad considering they lost a number of players this year and that they will be playing in the 2020-21 Caf Champions League that kicks off in August.