Pieter de Jongh
BY TERRY MADYAUTA
Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions FC Platinum are unsure if they will retain the services of Soccer Star of the Year finalist Never Tigere, who has not reported back to the club since the expiry of his contract on December 31.
News from Zvishavane is that Tigere has not availed himself to renew the contract amid reports that there were Zambian clubs courting him while ambitious Ngezi Platinum Stars are also reportedly keen to acquire his services.
He was not in the squad that played Egyptian giants Al Ahly in a Caf Champions League group match at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.
Losing a player of Tigere’s calibre would be a big blow to the Pieter de Jongh-led FC Platinum as he had established himself as a vital cog in the squad in the last two seasons.
He has also chipped in with goals with his last goal for the club being in the Caf Champions League late last year.
The platinum miners have also parted ways with five players that include Devon Chafa, Wallace Magalane, Charles Sibanda, Mkhokheli Dube and Rodwell Chinyengetere.
Short of personnel, they were forced to recall Cameroonian import Albert Eonde, who they had off-loaded early this month.
In trying to fill in the gaps that have been created by the departure of key players, FC Platinum raided the market and acquired Last Jesi, Stanley Ngala and Soccer Star of the Year first runner-up Ralph Kawondera.
Jesi and Ngala featured against Al Ahly, with the former scoring for the home side in the one-all draw.
Kawondera is cup-tied to feature in the Caf Champions League as he played for Triangle in the Caf Confederation Cup earlier in the season.
FC Platinum assistant coach Lizwe Sweswe has heaped praise on Ngala and Jesi on their debut performances. They were acquired from Manica Diamonds.
“They did well on their first day and they showed that they mean business. They are here to compete and make our team much stronger,” Sweswe said.
“The way they performed is very hopeful and I am hoping they will keep the momentum in all future matches for the club. For now we are focusing on the Champions’ League and I hope their first appearance goes a long way in boosting their confidence,” he added.
Ngala is reuniting with Perfect Chikwende at the tip of the FC Platinum attack, having played together at Bulawayo Chiefs.