Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
2 minute read
8 Apr 2017
10:02 am

Murape confident of saving Magesi

Sibongiseni Gumbi

When veteran coach, Shepard Murape was called to help struggling National First Division team, Magesi FC, he didn’t hesitate as he felt confident getting Dikwena tsa Meetsi out of their dire situation and into safety.

Magesi FC players celebrates a goal (Chris Ricco/BackpagePix)

And five weeks later, there is light at the end of the tunnel for the Polokwane based team who surprised many last weekend; beating NFD title favourites, Royal Eagles 4-2.

“What I suspected and found when I got here is that this was a new level for the players,” said Shepard yesterday. “They were struggling. I have tried to show them the way the game is played at this level,” he added.

Murape – who has coached so many teams you would need four hands to count them in local football – said what made him confident of changing Magesi’s fortunes was his knowledge of local football.

“It was only in the second round that they realised that the level was a bit higher than what they were used to. You must remember that some of these players had never even travelled outside Limpopo before and now they have to fly to Cape Town and Durban. That is why they struggled in the first few games because they were away,” he said.

Asked if he can save the team, he boldly stated: “Yes. I don’t think we will be relegated. These players may be young but they are very talented, they needed some organisation in their play.
“They have now gained valuable experience. I have a very good team now. We have made good progress. We have our own league at the bottom of the league and we need to win it. There is about four or five teams in their own mini league and we must come out top.”

The win against Eagles was a huge confidence booster, he said. “It was tremendous. It was what we needed. You can see at training that everyone is bouncing and happy. They played and won against a big team with experienced players like Isaac Chansa and Katlego Mphela.

“Now they can feel that they can win against any team. They know they have to put in maximum effort,” said the Zimbabwean mentor.

Magesi’s next match is against promotion hopefuls, AmaZulu and Murape said he hopes his boys can take the same performance to Durban.