Mapeza happy with team’s progress


FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says his team is still a work in progress but feels the young side is on the right direction.

The defending league champions underwent a rebuilding exercise at the start of the season when Mapeza decided to press the reset button by letting go a number of senior players and bring  in young blood.

His experiment looked to backfire when the team started the season slowly, picking just one win in their opening seven matches.

Many people had written them off in the title race.

But it appears the faults that characterised their play early in the season are melting away as Mapeza’s men are now producing excellent performances week in and out.

Not so long ago, the team was hovering just above the relegation zone but after stringing five consecutive victories, FC Platinum are back in contention for the title.

In fact, they have lost just once in their last seven matches, winning the other six.

“I was happy even when we started rebuilding the team,” Mapeza said.

“I was more than happy with what they were doing when we started the season. There was no day when I said these guys are not doing OK. They have been working hard. Of course results were not coming but they were working hard and playing very well.”

The Zvishavane-based side are now second on the log standings, and have reduced the gap on log leaders Chicken Inn to just one point after 18 rounds of fixtures.

But Mapeza is not getting carried away by his team’s recent resurgence, and is urging his youngsters to keep their feet on the ground.

“It’s still work in progress and we are not looking much on what is going to happen come the end of the season. What is important is how these guys are progressing, especially those youngsters and I’m happy with their progress. That is the most important thing,” Mapeza said.

Asked about his team’s chances in the title race, Mapeza said: “For us we are traveling our own journey and it’s still on. We just need to keep moving forward in the right direction and with a positive mind.. and see what happens in the coming games.”

FC Platinum’s title credentials will face its toughest test this week when they travel to Chicken Inn on Saturday in the pick of the weekend’s league fixtures.

Matchday 19 fixtures

Saturday: ZPC Kariba v Yadah (Nyamhunga Stadium), Black Rhinos v Herentals (Vengere), Harare City v Caps United (National Sports Stadium), Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Luveve)

Sunday: Ngezi Platinum Stars v Highlanders (Baobab), Dynamos v Triangle (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo Chiefs v Cranborne Bullets (Luveve), Manica Diamonds v Bulawayo City (Sakubva), Whawha v Tenax (Ascot)

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