Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu is enjoying a great run with his Botswana Premiership side Orapa United where he is yet to taste defeat in the league with two matches to go.
Mafu, who succeeded fellow Zimbabwean Madinda Ndlovu at Orapa, has led the team to third spot on the log. When he took over Orapa were eighth on the 16-team log standings. The only defeat he suffered was in the Mascom Top 8 Cup final where Orapa were beaten 4-2 by Township Rollers in Francistown at the beginning of March.
With him solely in charge of the team, Orapa have won five league matches and drawn three with the biggest victory being the 4-0 triumph over Gilport Lions. He also recorded a 2-0 win over Rollers.
Heading into this weekend’s fixtures, Orapa were third on the log with 51 points, 11 away from second placed Jwaneng Galaxy and 12 adrift of table topping Townships Rollers. With just two matches to go, the best Mafu and his team can only finish is third spot with Miscellaneous having a chance to overtake them. Miscellaneous have 48 points but have played one more match than Orapa which means Mafu’s team needs just a draw to secure third place.
Last weekend, Orapa United defeated Miscellaneous 3-1 away in Serowe. This afternoon, Mafu faces his former side Mochudi Centre Chiefs at their home ground Itekeng Stadium with their last match against Security Systems, a team coached by Chicco Nare, the man who temporarily took charge of Orapa after Ndlovu’s departure. Mafu attributed his fine fun run to a high-quality training regime with everything that he needs to succeed available to him from the players and facilities at his disposal.
“A good training regime, everyone available, training venue available, training equipment available. Trust and proper man management of players,’’ Mafu said.
Orapa have two Zimbabwean players in their books, these being anchorman Tapiwa Nyamanjiva and Tendai Nyamusi an attacking midfielder. When Mafu joined Orapa, he found the club in negotiation with Jerome Ramatlakwane, Lesego Galenamptlale and Onkabetse Magkantai who were all signed up. Mafu worked with Ramatlakwane and Galenamptlale during his time at Mochudi. — @Mdawini_29