JOHANNESBURG – There were more messages of condolences than congratulatory ones directed at Norman Mapeza when it was announced that he had signed a three-year contract with Chippa United.
That’s because coaching the club is career suicide.
Many men have done it and no-one lasts due to the trigger-happy tendencies of club chairman Chippa Mpengesi. The three-year contract Mapeza signed is not worth the paper it’s printed on. No coach has ever finished their contract at the club since it started in professional football.
It will take something special for Mapeza to be the first coach to do so even though he comes with an impressive CV. He has won two league titles in Zimbabwe with FC Platinum. He also took the club to the group stage of the CAF Champions League for the first time, finishing at the bottom of a group that had Esperance of Tunisia, Guinea’s Horoya and Orlando Pirates.
Mapeza is no slouch, and he will bring value to the Premier Soccer League. But there is a feeling that even though he is the right coach - a competent and qualified one - he chose the wrong club to start his career in South Africa.