Constant axe at Chippa puzzles even Rhulani Manzini

Rhulani Manzini.
Rhulani Manzini.
Image: Michael Sheehan / gallo images

Chippa United remain the only winless team in the league, and the chopping and changing of coaches looks to be the root of their poor start to the season.

Barely nine games into the new campaign, Chippa have already fired two coaches in Clinton Larsen and Duran Francis. Zimbabwean mentor Norman Mapeza has since succeeded the latter after signing a three-year deal with the Port Elizabeth-based side last week.

Francis, who had assumed the coaching role as a caretaker after Larsen's dismissal, was shown the door after just two games - a goalless stalemate at home to Bloemfontein Celtic and a 1-0 defeat away to Maritzburg United.

Larsen was relieved of his duties after five games, with three draws and two losses. Striker Rhulani Manzini doesn't beat about the bush, admitting that the continual coaching changes have impacted on their mediocre start to the campaign.

"It [changing of coaches now and then] does have a negative impact on how we've done this season. You have to adapt to a new style every now and then, but it's not our decision, as players we've to respect the decisions of the chairman [Siviwe Mpengesi]," Manzini told Sowetan yesterday.

"It's his [Mpengesi] team, if he feels that this coach is right to coach the team, it's his choice. We only have to do our part on the field. But it really does affect us. It [being impatient with coaches and firing them] is like planting a tree and removing it, how's it going to grow? There's no growth."

Nevertheless, Manzini, 31, is confident that things are about to change for the better. The Bushbuckridge-born, Mpumalanga, striker has pinned Chippa's hopes for improvement on Mapeza. Chippa's next league game is away to Highlands Park on October 26.

"It's disappointing that we've started the season this way, but we're still positive that we'll turn the tables," noted Manzini. "[Mapeza] is an international coach, he coached the national team of Zimbabwe and FC Platinum.

"He was once a player as well, so he's bringing a lot of experience."

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