BY TERRY MADYAUTA
NORMAN Mapeza has resumed his FC Platinum duties after a brief sabbatical since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals last month, probably shutting the door on his long-term admirers Ngezi Platinum Stars who were reportedly angling to lure him as Rodwell Dhlakama’s replacement.
Ngezi Platinum have long had Mapeza on their wishlist, but the veteran gaffer has been loyal to their rivals, FC Platinum.
Sources at FC Platinum revealed that his contract with the Zvishavane side expired at the end of December, adding that he was yet to renew it since he was on national duty with the Warriors at the Afcon finals.
Anything is possible at this point. With Dhlakama out of the picture, it emerged yesterday that Ngezi Platinum Stars were considering to present a bid for Mapeza’s services.
His manager Gibson Mahachi confirmed that the decorated mentor returned to Zvishavane yesterday after a brief rest, but nothing had been finalised on a new deal.
“He returned to Zvishavane today (Thursday) after a short break since they returned from the Afcon finals that were being played in Cameroon,” Mahachi said.
“At this point, speculation is rife regarding potential moves. I can’t comment about that, but at this point I can confirm that the coach is in Zvishavane with his employers.”
It will come as no surprise, if Mapeza decides against renewing his contract, especially with indications that he was not happy with the way some of the senior players were thrown into the wilderness.
FC Platinum are on a drive to promote their developmental team by elevating junior players into the senior team.
Last month, they parted ways with Kelvin Madzongwe, Silas Songani, Ralph Kawondera, Denzel Khumalo, Donald Ngoma and Rahman Kutsanzira, who joined rival Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs, except for Songani who returned overseas.
Meanwhile, at Ngezi Platinum, former Shabanie Mine gaffer Takesure Chiragwi has been handed the head coach job on an interim basis, as the club hunts for a substantive coach.
The reasons for cutting ties with Dhlakama remain a mystery, especially looking at his track record since appointment at the end of 2019.
Undoubtedly, the former Young Warriors mentor had transformed the team, reviving hopes of winning the PSL title, which has remained elusive for the ambitious club.
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