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FC Platinum offload old horses

The club's long serving defender Raphael Muduviwa and veteran midfielder Innocent Mucheneka are the latest in a list of seven players who have moved on so far.

FC PLATINUM'S clear out is continuing after the club yesterday announced the departure of two more senior players.

The club's long serving defender Raphael Muduviwa and veteran midfielder Innocent Mucheneka are the latest in a list of seven players who have moved on so far.

The duo had become bit part players at the club in recent times, with Muduviwa loaned to Bulawayo Chiefs for the second half of the season last year on his return from a long injury lay-off.

Muduviwa is leaving after spending 13 years with the club, winning a staggering 15 domestic trophies, including four league championship titles.

In announcing his departure, the club described the defender as a “true legend of the club”.

“Saying goodbye is never easy, especially when we are bidding farewell to a true legend of our club. We have shared countless highs and lows at our beloved stadium (Mandava), and we will forever cherish those memories. Thank you for your unwavering loyalty and fighting spirit,” FC Platinum wrote on their social media pages yesterday.

Fiji, as Muduviwa is nicknamed, responded to the announcement on Facebook with a cryptic message.

Writing in Shona vernacular, he said: “Takatombo fender tikamuka tichifendera team, football so! FC Platinum kuti tisvike patiri kudai we turned those pains to joy. God bless you all RM7.”

The post was accompanied by a picture of himself on a hospital bed.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza is in the process of rebuilding his squad following an underwhelming performance last season when they surrendered their stranglehold to the league title.

Among the seven players who have since been released is former captain and goalkeeper Petros Mhari, in a purge that is seemingly targeting all aging members of the squad.

Mhari's former vice Gift Bello, utility player Gift Mbweti and striker Perfect Chikwende have all been shown the exit door, while former Soccer Star of the Year Walter Musona refused to renew his contract when it expired on December 31.

The winger has since joined ambitious side Simba Bhora.

The Zvishavane-side failed to defend the league title last season, which they held a record four consecutive times, finishing on fourth position in a race that was won by their platinum cousins, Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Mapeza's reaction to the failure has been an overhaul of the squad, with sources saying more players are set to be released in the current player transfer window. A number of replacements have been line up.

So far, FC Platinum have signed Mbongeni Ndlovu from Highlanders and are believed to be close in agreeing terms with the defender's former Bosso teammate Brighton Manhire.

The former champions are also said to have signed former Herentals winger Davison Maruwa as a direct replacement for Musona. Mapeza's team is in the market for a goalkeeper to fill in the huge boots left by Mhari.

They have since managed to tie down Juan Mutudza and goalkeeper Wallace Magalane after the duo extended their contracts, which had expired at the end of the year.

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