FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has refused to be drawn into the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title talk despite his team having climbed to the top of the pile after vanquishing closest challengers Chicken Inn on Saturday.
The 3-0 away from home did not flatter the miners, but Mapeza says he is not paying too much attention to the league table and he prefers performances and results to do the talking.
“We have been working. Sometimes you don’t have to talk about what you are doing but people should see for themselves what you are doing. We have not been talking much but what we have been doing can be seen now. We are not thinking much about our position (on the log-standings). I am much worried about developing these kids,” Mapeza said.
“That is where my main worry is. I want them to know much about football. It is not easy to play football, but I want them to learn how to play football. So, we will keep on working hard and see what happens at the end of the season.”
Mapeza has argued that there was no lack talent development in the country and he has tasked himself to do that at FC Platinum.
“Imagine if we had an Under-20 side, an Under-23 side with this quality we have here; it would be something else. I want to win the league but imagine if I am going to win the league with guys who are 35-36 years,” he said.
“But of course, I have got Bello (Gift). Bello is 40, but I need him. There is a reason why I need him, but let’s give these youngsters a chance. The problem is that we don’t want to build. We all want results at the end of the game, but where are you going to get the results if don’t give chances to developing these kids. It’s all about developing these kids. We had about five sitting on the bench (at the weekend), some were playing and the others are not here because of suspension,” he said.
Mapeza has previously bemoaned the dwindling standards of football in the country, hitting out at club owners who demanded immediate results at the expense of quality.
One of the youngsters who has been a revelation for FC Platinum is 22-year-old Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya, who was voted the Castle Lager Player of the Month for May. Other young players include Thubelihle Ndlovu, Panashe Mutimbanyoka and Oscar Bhebhe, who are all 20 and were promoted from the club’s development side while Hagiazo Magaya (22) came from Bulawayo Chiefs.