Zvishavane — FC Platinum has finally landed the signature of the much sought after Zambian centre-back Aaron Katebe for an undisclosed fee. The former Hwange defender was a wanted man at champions Dynamos but the steady defender was enticed to join the ambitious platinum miners by his former coach Tenant Chilumba who also joined the miners two weeks ago.
Dynamos had even registered Katebe on the 25-man squad they submitted to the Confederation of African Football for this year's Champions League.
But once the Zambian failed to report at Raylton Sports Club for Dynamos' pre-season training the suspicions that Katebe might have changed his mind grew.
DeMbare will, however also feel hard done by Katebe after they had reportedly agreed personal terms with him and given him a copy of the contract they were to sign with him.
It is believed that Katebe then used his discussions with DeMbare as platform to bargain for a better deal with FC Platinum.
Although they have swooped on Katebe and some new players, FC Platinum maintain that their focus this year would be on younger players.
"The club has put its faith in youthful players as they aim to improve on their seventh place finish in the 2012 season.
"Kugona Kunenge Kudada has captured promising youngsters Mhleli Sibanda who was with Quelaton and the national under 20 twins, Kelvin and Elvis Moyo who were with Bantu Rovers last year," said Benson Virimayi in a press release.
"The 2012 PSL top goal-scorer, Nelson Maziwisa, Raymond Sibanda and Frankson Bushire have been recalled following a stint with neighbours Shabanie Mine FC.
"The new squad also sees the promotion of the second batch of players from our development side that plays in Division One in the Central Soccer League.
"Terrence Rukweza has also been promoted from the Under-16 team based at Guinea Fowl to battle for a place in the senior team along with shot stopper, Talbert Shumba," read the statement.
The Platinum miners off-loaded 13 players last week and have engaged six players as replacements.
FC Platinum have also focused their attention to their Under-19 team, which is providing the bulk of the players.
"When we got promoted in the league three years ago we started an Under-19 project with the idea of promoting youngsters into the senior team.
"In short it was a feeder team and next year do not be surprised if we buy one or two players as we hope that the bulk of the players will be coming from the junior team," said new club president George Mawere.
There was also no place for former Bosso great Peter Nkomo whose contract as goalkeeepers' coach was not renewed.
Nkomo joined the ship with Philani Mabhena in 2011 under the guidance of the late Benjamin Moyo on a three-year contract.
FC Platinum also parted ways with former captain Zephaniah Ngodzo, Cabby Kamhapa, both of whom have now shifted their focus to joining Chicken Inn.
Benjamin Marere, Norman Togara, Rowan Nenzou, Hardlife Muvundi, Louis Matawu, Tsungai Mudzamiri, Thandazani Ndlovu, Norman Maroto, William Manondo and goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube have also been released.
Speculation was high in some quarters that Nkomo would bounce back as goalkeepers coach but the miners have instead promoted juniors goalkeeper Daniel Khumalo who once saw action with Zimbabwe Saints, to the senior post. He together with Patrick Mandizha will work as Chilumba's assistants. John Phiri's contract was also not renewed and is rumoured to be on his way back to neighbours Shabanie.