Pressure mounts on Mafu

HARARE – Coaching Highlanders and a team that is considered one of the title favourites each year always comes with a larger than normal dose of scrutiny, but this seems worse than usual for Bongani Mafu.

Mafu — who was appointed Bosso coach at the beginning of the year — is under growing pressure from dissatisfied fans after disappointing results in the opening matches of the 2015 Castle Premiership season.

The former Zimbabwe Saints coach, who replaced Kelvin Kaindu at the beginning of the year, has continually declared he is a fighter, not a quitter, and seems unlikely to resign five matches into his one-year contract.

The bile against Mafu reached fever pitch following Sunday’s 0-1 defeat to fellow strugglers Chapungu at Barbourfields Stadium.

This was Chapungu’s first win of the season and it did not go down well with the Bosso fans.

Widespread chants of “Mafu Out” during their match were followed by raucous boos at the final whistle.

The Bosso fans took their protest further when they staged a 30-minute long demonstration at the stadium singing and dancing as they called for Mafu’s exit.

They continued with their demonstration as they marched to the Highlanders club house where they demanded to meet the executive.

It was Bosso’s second defeat of the season having started their campaign with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of ZPC Kariba in their opening match.

Even though Mafu’s side has put up a mini-recovery to pick up seven points after wins over Hwange and Tsholotsho together with a draw against Buffaloes, the Bosso fans have had enough already.

In five matches, Bosso have only scored two goals while conceding three which has left their goal different in the red.

The pressure appears to be getting the better of the new Highlanders coach, who has decided to suffer in silence.

“Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to make any comments at the moment.

“I am currently in a meeting maybe if you can try later,” Mafu told the Daily News yesterday.

It appears as if the Highlanders coach’s relationship with the media is already waning.

The Highlanders’ fans were the reason behind Kaindu’s resignation last year following a string of poor results.

Upon his arrival Mafu, remarked that he is aware of the challenges at the Bulawayo giants and would work tirelessly to bring back their glory days but so far it seems the opposite is happening.

Mafu’s contract states that he will be assessed at the end of the season but Highlanders fans have a way of forcing the executive’s hand at the club.

The only consolation for Mafu is that there are no league matches due to the Independence Cup final this weekend.

Bosso are not playing in the tournament this year after they finished in fifth place last season.

The time off will give Mafu and his players a sufficient period to rectify their problem before the league resumes next week.

Highlanders resume their league campaign with a date against debutants Dongo ?Sawmills in Rusape in midweek before returning to host troubled Harare giants CAPS United at Barbourfields.

Those two matches are likely to determine Mafu’s future at the club.

Comments (4)

My advice to Mafu is to pull up his socks and employ tactics and effective changes that would yield maximum points in the following matches or else you will find yourself leaving bosso because its like highlanders to perform this dismally

slow poison - 15 April 2015

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The problem with Highlanders supporters is to think that the coach is always wrong. Kkkkkkk. Does he have players. Which player is in the mould of Madinda, Peter etc.

Danai Pazvagozha - 16 April 2015

Needlessly to say that the impatient Bosso supporters do not want a team that is composed of whipping boys but Mr Mafu was given an equally opportunity to arrange his players. The man should be given a chance. To the Bossomania those are the results of firing coaches like confetti. Soccer coaching is a process of strategies you don't get that nge two months. Why is Arsenal no firing a coach. Lizwile Ngqa

khabazela - 18 April 2015

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