Sunday, January 13, 2019

CAF Champions League To Test Norman Mapeza's Qualities As A Coach

Norman Mapeza's remarkable domination in the castle lager Premier League for the past two years has been one of the success stories in Zimbabwe football, with many touting the former Warriors and Galatassaray defensive midfielder as one of the best coaches on the African continent

It is no overstatement to rank Mapeza among the top finest coaches in Africa considering what he has achieved so far in his young career as a coach, but his maiden adventure in the CAF Champions league group that kick started with a nil all draw at home to South Africa's Orlando Pirates - would certainly test Zimbabwe's three time Championship winner's qualities and progress as coach.

Mapeza who won his first Zimbabwe Championship with modest Monomotapa FC in 2008 before winning it back to back in 2017 and 2018 season with FC Platinum has managed to transform the Zvishavane based outfit into a formidable force that is ready to take on Africa.

From the 138 league games he has been in charge at FC Platinum, Mapeza has won 83, drawing 39 and losing only 16 - amassing a total of 288 points from a possible 414 points- winning the league two times and automatically becoming Zimbabwe's undisputed Champion coach.

Besides, competing on Africa's big football stage with Zimbabwe Warriors during his brief stints as national team coach, Mapeza has never had an opportunity to compete with Africa's best coaches.

However, FC Platinum's next five CAF Champions league group matches- beginning with their upcoming away fixture to Esperance of Tunisia on the 18th of January 2019 in the second Group B match- are certainly the most crucial games in Mapeza's career.

The team's opening group match against South Africa giants Orlando Pirates at Barbourfields stadium on Saturday was a testimony of how huge the amount of workload Mapeza has put in at the Miners during his short period at the club and a place beyond the group stages of the CAF Champions league would mark his name among the continent's finest coaches.

Having missed his first opportunity of gracing the CAF Champions league competition back in 2009 with Monomotapa after losing his job to Rodwell Dhlakama who then led Monomotapa to the money spinning league in that same year, Mapeza is presented with a good opportunity to fare his coaching qualities among the best.

With quality sides that includes, Horoya of Guinea, Esperance of Tunisia and South Africa's Orlando Pirates, the Ex-Warriors skipper is no short of competitors to put his expertise on a litmus test.


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