Mukudzei Chingwere, Harare Bureau
FOLLOWING his team’s ejection from the on-going CAF Champions League football, FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza says his team has learned a lot in this competition and they are ready to roll in the local Premiership starting at the end of the month.
Pure Platinum Play made it to the mini-league stage for the first time in this edition of Africa’s premier club knockout competition after failing to progress to the group stages in previous attempts.
However, Mapeza’s men left the competition on Saturday winless in their group and with just two points from a possible 18, the lowest point tally by a Zimbabwean team ever in the mini league, following their 2-1 defeat by Tunisian giants and defending champions Esperance at Barbourfields.
But Mapeza insist that all the statistics and history associated with the game does not matter as their objective was met and is happy they have had their lessons.
“When we started this journey our objective was to do well but along the way we failed to collect some maximum points but I think it was a very good experience for me as a coach, for the players, we just have to keep working hard.
“As for the statistics, I cannot get worried about those statistics, for me as a coach I do not work on statistics at the end of the day.”
The former Warriors coach and his men will be back in the competition again later this year and the club previously said this time’s target was to reach the group stages which they did and next time they will be targeting to go beyond the mini-league.
At the end of their game against Esperance on Saturday, Mapeza noted that he will be glad if his bosses open their purse as has always been the case to bolster his squad.
“We have picked up so many things along the way, we need to beef-up our squad, if funds permit, that is one aspect of the game we need to work on, we need to beef-up our squad then we see what happens in the future.
“It was learning process and I was talking to the boys that this is how football is in Africa, it is a massive learning curve for us,” Mapeza said.
On the local front Pure Platinum Play has been boisterous after winning the league’s ultimate prize twice on the bounce and Mapeza said his men are once again primed for the start of the Zimbabwean league marathon.
Most of the teams are running around fine-tuning their squads for the league campaign but Mapeza and his lieutenants does not have such worries having done the business earlier in preparation for the Champions’ League.
“When we started preparing for these games our focus was on these games so in two weeks time we are starting our league games.
“We are done with our preparations for these games so there is nothing we are going to prepare for the league games coming because we have been participating in this tournament.
“We are already prepared for the league we are just waiting for the league to kick-off,” said Mapeza.