Mapeza primed for bumpy ride

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BY TERRY MADYAUTA

FC PLATINUM coach Norman Mapeza is expecting a tough 2021-22 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) campaign ahead of the big kick-off this afternoon.

Mapeza’s side had an easy run in the Chibuku Super Cup, where they breezed to a top-of-the-table finish in Group 4 of the competition, but he expects a tough start when they take on newboys Tenax tomorrow as the platinum miners begin their title
defence.

The respected mentor is not looking into the fact that the prisons side is making its debut in the topflight.

In fact, he is treating them as a dangerous side and has implored his team to build on their cup form.

“We just need to keep more of the same mentality and build from where we left against Highlanders in the Chibuku Super Cup quarter-finals, especially that performance in the second half,” Mapeza told the NewsDay Sport.

“Coach (Shardreck) Magurasave has done well with Tenax and they proved to be a good team during the Chibuku Super Cup, so we are not going to risk by underestimating them.

“But all I can say is that we are ready, no injury worries from the team. At this point, we cannot be worried about fitness levels, especially since we have been playing just like most of the teams.”

Asked which teams he thinks would be strong contenders for the PSL title this season, Mapeza said: “Every season is different, we can’t expect it (this season) to be easy. At this point, I can’t judge teams since we have only played a few games.

“Any team has the capacity to win the league. We just have to focus on our game and see how it goes. The games haven’t even started, therefore, it is too early to jump into conclusion.”

The platinum miners have won the last three league titles and are targeting making an unprecedented quadruple.

However, unlike the previous season where they seemed to be the natural favourites to win the title this term, a number of clubs have strengthened and will be challenging for honours.

Highlanders and Dynamos are buzzing with confidence after a massive financial injection from Sakunda Holdings. The two giants usually reach their level best in terms of performance, especially when they have stable financial backing.

Dynamos, in particular, have so far presented their credentials as serious contenders to win the Chibuku Super Cup, where they have gone unbeaten in 11 matches.

Ngezi Platinum, Chicken Inn and Caps United also could come in with a shout.

  •  Follow Terry on Twitter @madyautatpm