Mapeza pleads for pa­tience

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Mukudzei Ching­were Sports Re­porter

FC PLAT­INUM coach Nor­man Mapeza has pleaded for pa­tience with his side as they grad­u­ally set­tle to the de­mands of the Cham­pi­ons League which is also of­ten char­ac­terised by com­pli­cated trav­el­ling around the con­ti­nent.

The Premier­ship kings edged past CNaPS of Mada­gas­car on a 2-1 ag­gre­gate win with Rod­well Chinyengetere’s goal de­cid­ing the tie on Wed­nes­day at Man­dava.

CNaPS had re­stricted FC Plat­inum to a 1-1 draw in the pre­lim­i­nary round, first leg en­counter in An­tana­narivo.

FC Plat­inum will be fan­cy­ing their chances of reach­ing the group stage this year, but they must now clear the hur­dle pre­sented by tour­na­ment debu­tants and 2018 Con­golese cham­pi­ons, As­so­ci­a­tion Sportive Otoho in the first round.

Mapeza’s men have an ini­tial tar­get of reach­ing the group stage.

But the for­mer War­riors coach knows that de­spite be­ing the dom­i­nant force in do­mes­tic foot­ball in the last two years, it is a dif­fer­ent ball game on the con­ti­nent.

Mapeza urged for pa­tience with his men whom he be­lieves still have a lot to learn re­gard­ing the de­mands of the African Sa­fari.

“It is un­for­tu­nate this is my se­cond time in the cham­pi­ons’ league as a coach so for peo­ple to say we failed (in the pre­vi­ous com­pe­ti­tions), I do not think it is fair to us.

“We are still a young club, Dy­namos started to play in the cham­pi­ons league in 1981 and only reached the fi­nal in 1998, we are still a young club we are only seven-years-old.

“We are still learn­ing we need ex­pe­ri­ence, even if we go to the next round and do not do well we are still learn­ing, the boys are learn­ing we need time.

“This is dif­fer­ent level of foot­ball . . . the boys need to get ex­pe­ri­ence, I also need to get ex­pe­ri­ence (and) every­body at this club need to get the ex­pe­ri­ence, we are still learn­ing,” he in­sisted.

“How many guys do we have play­ing for the na­tional team now? None. Un­der 23s? None. These guys need ex­pe­ri­ence and I also need that ex­pe­ri­ence,” said Mapeza.

Mapeza be­lieves his Zim­babwe cham­pi­ons would have to take it on a step by step ba­sis as they bid to reach the group stage which nor­mally has the African club heavy­weights such as Al Ahly of Egypt, Tu­nisia’s Es­per­ance, TP Mazembe from DRC and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sun­downs.

The min­ers will also hope that some of the ex­pe­ri­ence gained by such play­ers like Kevin Moyo, Devon Chafa and Mkhokeli Dube could help them in their quest for African suc­cess.

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