Shelly Guni, Sports Reporter
NORMAN Mapeza has downplayed rumours linking him to several jobs following his departure from FC Platinum yesterday.
Mapeza left the defending champions 48 hours before their CAF Champions League first round first leg encounter against UD Songo of Mozambique at Barbourfields tomorrow.
The championship winning coach has been linked with a move to new boys Manica Diamonds, CAPS United and the Zimbabwe national team.
He, however, said he was a rest and is not considering returning to the dugout anytime soon.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said.
“I’m a principled man and I’m going to take a rest. I felt I needed to rest. It’s all about the mind. When you feel you can’t continue you take a break.
“I had my own objectives which I believe I met. Football is a pressure game and sometimes you feel you can’t continue,” said Mapeza.
While there were reports of misunderstandings between the two parties, Mapeza said he was happy to leave after five years.
H-Metro heard Mapeza clashed with the executive over the handling of transfer business.
“I’m more than happy to be leaving. I’m grateful to FC Platinum president Mr Mawere, community and the fans it was not easy but they stood by me always.”
Lizwe Sweswe, who was assistant to Mapeza, has been appointed as interim coach.
Club president George Mawere confirmed Mapeza’s departure through a statement yesterday.
“FC Platinum Club wishes to announce the departure of Head Coach, Norman Mapeza from the team through a mutual separation agreement.
“Norman has been with the team for the past five (5) years and the Club would like to thank him for his professionalism, dedication and commitment to the achievement of the Club objectives.
“During his tenure, the Club made history by winning back to back League titles and reaching the group stages of the prestigious CAF Champions League.
“The Club Presidium, Fans, Executive, Management, entire Technical and playing staff wish him well in his future endeavors.
“In the interim, Lizwe Sweswe will be the acting Head Coach,” he said.
In the five years he has been at the Zvishavane miners, he guided the team to back-to-back league titles, the Chibuku Super Cup as well as the Castle Lager Challenge Cup.
He also reached the 2018 CAF Champions League Group stage despite failing to progress to the knockout stage.
Last month, Mapeza had helped the reigning champions negotiate their way in the first round of the CAF Champions League by beating Nyasa Big Bullets of Malawi 3-2 on aggregate
His last game was a 2-0 win over Herentals.