Newly appointed Orapa United coach Bongani Mafu has not been tasked with any clear mandate by his new club for this season. Gazette Sport have been reliably informed. The Ostriches, this past week announced the former Mochudi Centre Chiefs in Mafu, as their new head of the technical team, after last year’s sacking of Madinda Ndlovu. Ndlovu was deemed responsible for the club’s dip in form, sometime last year.
He was also said to have lost control of his dressing room, which somewhat led to divisions amongst players. Daniel Nare was roped in from Miscellaneous to act as an interim coach, while the club looked around for a new and experienced coach.
Despite figures such as former Orlando Pirates coach Kosta Papic showing keen interest in the coaching role, as well as other several european coaches, it was Mafu who emerged tops in that race.
He signed a two year deal and was introduced to the playing staff a fortnight ago. However, observers at the club have questioned the timing in this appointment, as it could mean that the season is already over for the mining side.
“What we understand is that, the management will start judging Mafu next season, which is only fair, because he will take his time to introduce his coaching style to players, before we can expect results. Now the problem here is the timing of his appointment, which could only suggest that the team has given up on this season already,” said a Gazette Sport source close to the team.
He carried that, “ Look, remember they (Orapa United) are in the semi finals of the Top 8, and we know there is very good possibility they can reach the finals. They might be 13 points behind Rollers, but also remember, we only in the first round,anything can happen. Why not at least let Chicco (Nare) finish the season, and let Mafu take over during pre season?,” questioned the source.
Reached for comment through their Public Relations Officer (PRO) Kabo Williams, confirmed that the new coach was given the task to prepare the team only for next season, but also admitted there is still a chance for United to turn the season around.
“For now we want him to do all he can, all is not lost league and Mascom top8 t are still open,” said Williams. “He will assemble his squad next season so for now he will work with what he has,” the PRO ended. Meanwhile, the club has parted ways with a number players in Letumile Molebatsi, Bogosi Kaekwe, Mooketsi Hlabano, Kemmy Pilato and Mogomotsi Samson. Former Gilport Lions man Mosimanegape Ntwaitsile is expected to join the club this week