By Sindiso Dube
Three years ago, new FC Platinum striker Stanley Ngala spent the entire season on the sidelines after he fractured his leg while playing for Botswana side Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
And when he mended, the player, who was yet to get a taste of the local premiership, failed to make the grade at newly-promoted side Bulawayo Chiefs at the beginning of 2018.
Midway through the season, Bulawayo Chiefs backtracked and signed the player before he joined Manica Diamonds last year.
On January 11, 2020, the 24-year-old was celebrating at Barbourfields after scoring a CAF Champions League goal against Egyptian side Al Ahly on his FC Platinum debut.
The FC Platinum call came after Ngala had had an impressive season with Manica Diamonds where he scored 11 goals.
“At the end of 2019 I received a call from FC Platinum saying they wanted me to join them in the next season and also [play] in the remaining CAF matches and I couldn’t say no to them. They are the current Zimbabwean champions and they are playing in the elite CAF Champions League, so joining them was a dream of mine that came true,” Ngala told The Sports Hub.
“I have always wanted to play for them and when the opportunity knocked on my door I didn’t have to think twice. However, this is not my end, moving abroad is every player’s dream and if I am to move abroad I would love to play in the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga or the Italian and the French leagues.
“I am pleased to have joined FC Platinum and I would love to help the team defend the title and also to progress further than what we did in the CAF Champions league in the next edition,” said Ngala.
Ngala scored an early goal on his debut against eight-time African champions and Egyptian giants Al Ahly in an encounter, which ended in a one-all draw.
“Playing my first game in the green colours of FC Platinum and playing against Al Ahly was one of the greatest moments in my life. It was great being on the same field with one of Africa’s best teams and netting against them is one of my career highlights and a big achievement,” he said.
His impressive run, on and off the ball, has earned him a lot of praise and is touted as a direct replacement for the two-time PSL Soccer Star of the Year Rodwell Chinyengetere, who has since re-united with Baroka United, across Limpopo River.
Coincidentally, the two top marksmen hail from the small mining city of Kadoma.
“Honestly, I have to work very hard to fill the big boots left by my brother Rody (Chinyengetere). He did a lot for FC Platinum from being the country’s top goalscorer to winning three leagues titles.
“I have total respect for him, he is my brother and we talk on the phone and he gives me advice.
“So I am going into FC Platinum’s dressing room as Stanley Ngala and I will not try to be Chinyengetere. I will be focused on doing my job as a striker, which is scoring goals,” he said.
Born Stanley Brendon Ngala in January 1996, the striker began his football journey when he was in Grade 2 at Chedonje Primary School in Kadoma’s Rimuka suburb.
He went through junior football ranks at Power Rangers FC, which was coached by Show Makomani.
When he was in Form Two he transferred from Rimuka High School to Induna High School in Bulawayo, that’s when he joined Black Boots FC Juniors.
In 2011, he was called by Methembe Ndlovu to join Bantu Rovers where he played for the Under-18s before playing for the national Under-17 team where he managed to score three goals in five matches.
Two years later, Ngala was elevated to the Black Boots FC seniors in Division One and played for three years.
In 2015, he was the club’s top goalscorer and the league’s second top goalscorer after Edmore Chirambare, but by then, he was at Tsholotsho.
The following year he signed for Bulawayo Chiefs, who were also in Division One then, and played half of the season before moving to Mochudi Centre Chiefs in Botswana.
He fractured his leg at the beginning of the 2017 season and was sidelined for the whole year and came back home to Kadoma.
In his debut with Chiefs mid-2018, Ngala assisted with two goals in a match where they beat Bulawayo City 4-2 at Luveve Stadium.
In 2019 Luke “Vahombe” Masomere lured Ngala to Manica Diamonds where he ended the season with 11 goals, and his form at the Mutare-based club attracted FC Platinum.