Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mapeza to select captain for Moza battle

By Fungai Muderere

Norman Mapeza’s return to FC Platinum was made official last week Friday, over a year after his departure for other adventures.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza, backroom staff and players salute supporters at the end of CAF league match against Orlando Pirates at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.(Picture by Eliah Saushoma)
FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza, backroom staff and players salute supporters at the end of CAF league match against Orlando Pirates at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.(Picture by Eliah Saushoma)

However, the former Warriors skipper is still to name his captain ahead of their make or break Confederations of African Football (CAF) tie against Costa do Sol of Mozambique.

“Mapeza chooses a team captain depending on the player’s strength ahead of a particular game. As such ahead of our departure to Mozambique we are yet to know who would be the captain of the day,” said FC Platinum spokesperson Chido Chizondo on Thursday.

Before Mapeza left the free spending side, the FC Platinum’s captain’s armband used to revolve around the experienced trio of goalkeeper Petros Mhari, Gift Bello and Kelvin Madzongwe.

The 44-member Pure Platinum Play delegation was scheduled to leave the country aboard a chartered flight on Thursday evening.

Mapeza “inherits” a side that again has quality players that come in the form ex Warriors player Silas Songani, Gift Mbweti, towering Lawrence Mhlanga, ex Highlanders trio of tricky Rahman Kutsanzira, Denzel Khumalo and Brian Banda among others.

It remains to be seen how the platinum miners will perform days after they parted ways with Pieter de Jongh, a man who says the decision by Caf to bar non-Caf A licence holders from directing operations in continental inter-club football competitions has left him a devastated man.

FC Platinum’s bid to have the Dutch mentor exempted failed last week, resulting in the two parties mutually going their separate ways with the highly respected Norman Mapeza bouncing back at the helm of the Zvishavane-based miners.

De Jongh is a holder of a Uefa A Licence but Caf recently changed the rules with the continental football controlling body now demanding a Uefa Pro Licence for coaches trained outside Africa to take charge in inter-club competitions.
However, the Dutch gaffer has reportedly backed Mapeza to excel at the helm of FC Platinum.

The Dutchman left the Zvishavane side having only presided over one match, when FC Platinum beat Highlanders 2-0 in the Castle Challenge Cup at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo.

The confrontational Mapeza set the bar high at Platinum, becoming the club’s most successful manager with a team that has won the Zimbabwean league championship three times in a row.

Mapeza quit FC Platinum in September last year and caretaker coach Lizwe Sweswe went on to land the third championship on the trot for Pure Platinum Play.

Sweswe is now with Filabusi-based Zifa Central Region Division One side Trukumb FC. BMetro.

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