William Mapfumo banks on experience

MUTARE - Mutare City Rovers are in a tough battle to avoid relegation from the Castle Lager Premiership but one man is confident they can secure their top flight status for next season.

Magusha captain William Mapfumo, 31, has been through the wars in his long Premiership career and surviving relegation this season is another battle he is hopeful they can win.

“We are confident that we will survive. We are not hoping for any favours from any of our two remaining opponents — Harare City and Ngezi Platinum — we will get the points we need to stay in the league,” Mapfumo tells the Daily News on Sunday.

Rovers are currently sitting second from bottom with 25 points from 28 games.

Taku Shariwa’s men dropped into the relegation slot last weekend when they lost 2-0 to Dynamos while Tsholotsho defied all odds to beat Highlanders 2-1 to move towards safety.

As a no-nonsense and ageless defensive bedrock, Mapfumo will be looked up to by the Magusha faithful to steer their side to survival.

With more than a decade of Premiership experience, the centre back however, knows the task will not be easy.

“We have to be at our best though because both clubs have very good players and competent technical departments,” Mapfumo says.

“But we also have the quality and will to match them and grind out the results we need.”

With his club relying on a solid defence and quick counter attacking game for the better part of the season, Mapfumo has been the focal point of the team’s better exploits.

Having started playing in the top flight league as far back as 2004 with Buymore the intimidating defender whose strong tackles always give strikers shivers is expected to give the team the mental strength they need to go through the last two games.

From Buymore, Mapfumo later moved to Dynamos at the end of 2006 where he spent three seasons.

At Dynamos, he was part of the team that ended a 10-year wait for the league title when they won the championship under David Mandigora in 2007.

Mapfumo also helped the Glamour Boys reach the semi-finals of the 2008 African Champions League before losing 5-1 on aggregate to Cameroonian side Coton Sport of Garoua.

The defender, who hails from Chitungwiza, left DeMbare in 2010 to join Black Mambas where he spent two season before dropping down to Division One with the now-defunct Laliga in 2012.

The following season, he moved back into the top flight with Lowveld side Triangle where he stayed before joining Magusha at the start of this season.

Having made his Premiership debut back in 2004, Mapfumo together with the likes of CAPS United striker Leonard Tsipa and Hwange’s Gilbert Zulu are the grand statesmen of the domestic game.

Mapfumo attributes his longevity at the highest level to discipline.

“I’ve been able to play in the country’s best league for such a long time because of discipline,” he says.

“Young players also need to learn that if they are going to last they will need to avoid abusing alcohol and drugs as well as do extra training.”

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