BY HENRY MHARA
FORMER Warriors coach Norman Mapeza (pictured) could return to coach in the Absa Premiership in South Africa with reports from that country yesterday suggesting that he has been lined up as a potential candidate to replace Alan Clark at Black Leopards.
Mapeza resigned as head coach of Chippa United under unclear circumstances in March this year, just over four months into his two-year contract.
Reports yesterday indicated he could be returning to take up the volatile job at Leopards who found themselves without a head coach following the resignation of Clark, who has reportedly received a coaching opportunity in Europe.
Football magazine KickOff.com yesterday reported that the highly-rated Mapeza was one of the two names, together with Dan Malesela, who have been identified as possible replacements at the club.
“Norman Mapeza and Dan Malesela are some of the names that have been discussed, but there is nothing formal at the moment,” the magazine reported quoting a source.
“In the meanwhile, Morgan Shivambu will be in charge while the club continues to search for a new coach.”
Luc Eymael, who has just been sacked by Tanzanian side Young Africans SC, has also been linked with a return to the club to take up the vacant job.
The relegation strugglers have changed coaches four times this season, and it has not even ended.
Mapeza’s handler Gibson Mahachi could not comment yesterday because of a bereavement in his family.
However, the 47-year-old former Warriors and FC Platinum coach has in the past said he was open to return to South Africa if he were to receive a good offer.
“I would not mind to come back to South Africa if I get offers. I have no problem. I really enjoyed my five months in the Absa Premiership,” he told the South African media after his resignation.
Mapeza left Chippa United in a huff amid reports that he was unhappy with some of his club members, who were allegedly undermining his authority.
His unceremonious departure from the Chilli Boys came as a shock as he had managed to turn around the club’s fortunes after taking charge of the side when it was languishing at the bottom of the log. Of the three coaches that are linked to the job, it is Mapeza who is the most successful, having won three league championships in Zimbabwe with FC Platinum (twice) and Monomotapa.
He has also coached the Warriors before, and remains one of the best local players. The Warriors fans also adore him. Leopards will be hoping to get a coach of his calibre as they are currently battling to avoid relegation.
Lidoda Dhuva, as they are affectionately known, are bottom of the log standings, three points from safety. The Absa Premiership is currently suspended because of the coronavirus, but is scheduled to restart on August 11.
The league campaign is expected to be completed on September 8, with some teams likely to play every three days.