FORMER Warriors and FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has joined South African top-flight side Chippa United, dealing Zifa, who wanted him to return at the helm of the senior men’s team, a big blow.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
Mapeza left his post at Pure Platinum Play unceremoniously, claiming that he wanted to rest until January, but it has emerged that his head had been turned by the lure of the South African rand.
Zifa had made Mapeza their number one target to take over the national team top coaching post, which is currently held by Joey Antipas on an interim basis.
Mapeza links up with two of his former players, Kelvin and Elvis Moyo, who joined the club at the start of the South Africa season.
The former Galatasaray defender has joined the team immediately and was set to watch the team in their match against Wits yesterday evening from the stands.
The club yesterday confirmed the signing of Mapeza, who signed a three-year contract, replacing Clinton Larsen who was shown the exit door last week.
Chilli Boys boss Siviwe Mpengesi expressed his excitement about the signing of the former Ajax Cape Town player, KickOff reported yesterday
“We are happy to have a coach like Mapeza and we congratulate him. Not only is he highly experienced, but also he is highly regarded by colleagues in the football fraternity,” he said.
“He brings a wealth of experience that will no doubt inspire the players and will take the team to greater heights.”
Mapeza joins Kaitano Tembo as the only other Zimbabwean at the helm of a South African top-flight side.
He caught the eye of Chippa United after leading FC Platinum to two league titles as well as presiding over their progress in the Caf Champions League, where they played in the mini-league stage for the last edition before he left the team one round away from playing in the lucrative stage for this edition.
Lizwe Sweswe led the team past UD Songo following wins at home and away.
Chippa United have been coached by another former Warriors player, Wilfred Mugeyi before, while former Harare City boss Mark Harrison also had a run.
Former Chippa United coach Joel Masutha warned the next Chippa coach that they may not last.
The Chilli Boys changed coaches twice in a space of two weeks, with Larsen being the first to get the boot and Duran Francis lasting just two matches as an interim coach.
Masutha, who is now coaching Real Kings in the GladAfrica Championship, shared a little advice on coaching Mpengesi’s team.
“You just need to go there with a laptop and the tracksuit you’re wearing, don’t bring anything else,” he said.
Chippa has now had 20 coaches since 2011 and five of those were caretakers.