Mammoth Test for Mapeza

Former Zimbabwe captain Norman Mapeza has had mixed fortunes in his first few matches in charge of FC Platinum, but faces a mammoth task living up to expectations at the ambitious Zvishavane-based outfit.

Former Zimbabwe captain Norman Mapeza.
Former Zimbabwe captain Norman Mapeza.

From the onset, the FC Platinum project was conceived expressly to dominate local football. What with the team’s vast financial resources and readiness to recruit players at the slightest hint of talent.

The last three years have, however, proved a sobering experience and after a high turn-over of coaches and players alike, there is still no sign of the coveted first league title so far.

In fact, FC Platinum currently lie closer to the relegation zone than the summit of the log standings, and the onus now falls on Mapeza to reverse that slide and lay the foundation for a formidable title challenge in the coming season.

Mapeza has already guided his charges to the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup following a 1-0 victory over CAPS United last Sunday, but two successive league defeats have seen the club continue to head in the wrong direction on the log – even under him.

The former Warriors coach has inherited a squad whose depth in numbers is the envy of many. Yet, ironically, having so many players to choose from can pose huge challenges for any coach.

Just in central defence for instance, Mapeza has to settle on a partnership from a list that consists of Daniel Vheremu, Gift Bello, Kelvin Moyo, James Marufu, Ian Nekate and Aron Katebe, all of them decent players.

It gets even more complicated in midfield, with the likes of Thabani Kamusoko, Allan Gahadzikwa, Simon Shoko, Marshal Mudehwe, Ashley Mukwena, youngsters Walter Musona, Wisdom Mutasa, Blessing Sahondo and Tatenda Dzumbunu all vying for a piece of the action.

Mapeza has to settle on team while at the same time ensuring that the other players he wishes to remain part of his project remain adequately motivated. Furthermore, he has to balance the need for experience with necessity to give youthful players like Musona, Mutasa and Dzumbunu enough game time to continue their development.

The remaining matches of the campaign will allow Mapeza more time to get to grips with his new environment but he has to start next season in a way that suggest he is moulding title contenders, and not the mid table outfit which FC Platinum have become.

Post published in: Football

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