BY TERRY MADYAUTA
NORMAN Mapeza’s manager Gibson Mahachi says the former Warriors gaffer has returned to finish his mission of turning FC Platinum into a Southern African football giant.
The 47-year-old gaffer returns to the Zvishavane-based side having left last year to join South Africa Premiership side Chippa United where he eventually left in a huff due to a turbulent relationship with the club leadership.
On his return, the veteran gaffer has been tasked to ensure the ambitious club do better in the Caf Champions league where they have failed to go beyond the group phase after three consecutive attempts.
And Mahachi told StandardSport yesterday that his reunion with FC Platinum is affirmation of to his professionalism and dedication, which helped him leave an indelible mark at the club.
“This is evidence that he is a good coach. His profile is very big and it speaks volumes to his professionalism and his ability to win always,” Mahachi said.
“For us, his return is not a step backwards, but it’s a positive move because looking at the clubs that wanted him before, they have a smaller profile than FC Platinum who play in the Champions league.
“The main example here is Chippa United, they are in the money-spinning South African premiership, but they have a smaller profile than that of FC Platinum, who are known on the continental platform.
“His return also gives him a platform to finish what he started. He won championships with them, he went to the Champions league with them, but now it’s that window of opportunity for him to even bigger things for the team, which he knows from the culture, style of play and also players,” said Mahachi.
Mahachi also took time to encourage local coaches to maintain good relations with local clubs even if they lose jobs.
“Norman is returning to a club he helped win, a club at which he spent five years and a club, which he kept good relations with even after he left. This shows that maintaining relations with your former clubs is key even after parting ways,” he added.
Three-time champions FC Platinum were forced to settle for Mapeza to avoid potential embarrassment after the Dutchman Heindrikus Pieter De Jongh was deemed unqualified to sit on the technical bench since he does not possess the mandatory Caf A coaching badge.
Mapeza’s first assignment will be against Mozambican side Costa do Sol next week where he will hope to set the pace for a potentially challenging first round.