'Unworkable conditions' force coach to quit three weeks after joining team

Coach Mapeza explains why he dumped TTM

Neville Khoza Journalist
Norman Mapeza at the Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on the 24 February 2020.
Norman Mapeza at the Bidvest Stadium, Johannesburg on the 24 February 2020.
Image: ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Barely weeks after joining Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM), coach Norman Mapeza has decided to quit.

Mapeza cited unworkable conditions at TTM as one of the reasons he decided to leave the club on Sunday morning.

In the three weeks in which he has been preparing the team, the Zimbabwean coach was not given a  contract by TTM, who will campaign in the DStv Premiership for the first time after they bought Bidvest Wits status.

Speaking to Sowetan from Zimbabwe yesterday, Mapeza said he thought he couldn’t help the team anymore despite the season yet to start. “This is a new club, and after what I saw I said I can’t help anymore in the three weeks I have been here,” Mapeza said.

“New players were coming, and I didn’t know much about the levels of their fitness. It was going to be difficult for me because I didn’t know much about when was the last time they played football. Some I understand they played in the bio-bubble, some they last played football in March before this Covid-19 outbreak. So, I thought it was going to be difficult to work like that with the team.”

Before he packed his bags and left, Mapeza spoke with the management to raise his concerns with them, but nothing was improving, he said.

“I spoke to them. They were aware of my concerns. At least if some other players from the Premier Soccer League were playing regularly, it was going to be easy for me,” Mapeza said.

“Usually in pre-season, you need about six weeks to prepare the team, even eight weeks sometimes. But I had only three weeks, and I said to myself, ‘can I make a competitive team?' I thought I could not.

“I know people will be surprised, but we are football people, and it was my wish to help those guys at the end of the day, it is a new club. We need to have a foundation.

“We only started training on October 2, and other clubs have been training from mid-September, and they had five weeks to prepare.

“You need to make a bold decision as a coach, and I didn’t want to find myself where I would be regretting.”

TTM will need to appoint the coach as soon as possible as they open the season this weekend with an MTN8 clash against SuperSport United at Thohoyandou Stadium (3pm).

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