Amazulu leads Mapeza chase

PORT ELIZABETH, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 19: Norman Mapeza (Head Coach) of Chippa United during the Chippa United media open day at Nelson Mandela Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Richard Huggard/Gallo Images)

SOUTH African Premiership football side Amazulu are among several foreign clubs that have made inquiries on the availability of highly rated Zimbabwean coach Norman Mapeza (pictured) as he prepares for the next move after his departure from Chippa United early last month.

Mapeza walked out on South African top-flight side Chippa United last month to prematurely end his successful five-month stint at the club, which was bottom of the log when he took charge.

He left Chippa 11th on the South African Premiership standings, five points off the drop zone — a massive improvement from when he joined the club in October.

The 47-year-old former Warriors and FC Platinum coach blamed unrealistic expectations from the club’s management and disrespect from some players as the main reasons for his shock resignation.

Mapeza might now be back in the country, but he is not short of admirers south of the Limpopo where his impact continues to be felt after successfully managing to turn around Chippa United’s fortunes.

Mapeza’s manager Gibson Mahachi told StandardSport in an interview yesterday that they were currently weighing several offers including one from another South African club Amazulu, who have already made an inquiry for the coach’s services.

“So far, nothing has materialised for a new deal for the coach. Amazulu have, of course, made an inquiry together with several other foreign clubs which I’ll not reveal by their names at this stage,” Mahachi said.

“But for the moment, Mapeza is resting until a better offer comes and in the meantime we are open and listening to offers coming our way.

“There is no need for us to rush. When the right offer comes we will embrace it but for the moment we are waiting and looking forward to it.”

Mahachi added that Mapeza needed rest after an exhausting stint at Chippa United, which is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s most chaotic football clubs.

“After his previous job, we felt he needed some rest as we look for the right placement for him,” said Mahachi.

“A number of offers are coming, but we need to be careful when it comes to selecting the right one.”

Amazulu are currently without a head coach after sending their Slovakian tactician Jozef Vukusic on special leave until further notice before the suspension of the South African league.

Former Usuthu striker Ayanda Dlamini led the Durban-based club in just one league match as interim head coach before the league was suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Amazulu are second from bottom on the log with 23 points after 24 games.