Mapeza on comeback trail

By Collen Tafireyi

FORMER Warriors captain Norman Mapeza has resumed full-time training at his South African premiership club Ajax Cape Town and could make his long-awaited competitive football comeback in t

he next few days, IndependentSport has heard.


Mapeza is expected to play his final reserve game today and feature for the first team next week, according to his club.


He joined the Urban Warriors more than three months ago after battling with an injury but has not featured for the Cape side since his high-profile move.

Club public relations officer Thabiso Mekuto said Mapeza was expected to be part of coach Gordon Igesund’s team as from today after successfully completing fitness tests this week.


“Norman has now fully recovered from the troublesome knee and as I speak he is training with our first team. He is a week away from playing his first official game for us. He is a great asset to us and his experience will be valuable to the team which is at the moment failing to stamp its authority consistently,” Mekuto said this week.


“I can confirm Norman is part of the pool of players the coaches are working with. We have given him jersey number 14 and everyone is excited to finally see him in action.”


The Urban Warriors, who are currently having a tough season, are placed sixth on the log after nine games and badly need the services of Mapeza as they try to regroup and aim for a better finish.


Mapeza has been out of the game for more than two years after sustaining a long-term injury during his last stint with a Turkish team. He said earlier this year that he would love to play for Zimbabwe again if selected.


Mapeza, who until his surprise move to South Africa was deputising Charles Mhlauri at this year’s local premiership champions Caps United, has seen his career take him to Poland, Turkey and Austria.


At Ajax Cape Town he is in the company of longtime friend and compatriot Ian Gorowa, who is the assistant coach, and another former Zimbabwe international striker, Wilfred Mugeyi.