The strange tale of Mapeza and the Fabischs

26 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
The strange tale of Mapeza and the Fabischs Jonah Fabisch


Fungai Muderere
WHEN he gave him his first national team cap, little did he know that the favour would be returned 20 years later via the son!

When he was capped by Germany native Reinhard Fabisch in the 1990s for the first time as an unknown Daryn T player against Zambia, Norman Mapeza was at about the same age as Jonah Fabisch.

Two Sundays ago, Mapeza, who went on to star and eventually captain the senior national soccer team and made his name in Europe at Turkish giants Galatasaray in the 90s, gave Jonah Fabisch (20) his debut in Warriors colours in a 2022 World Cup football qualifier against Ethiopia at the National Sports Stadium.

Jonah’s father is Fabisch, the architect of the famed Dream Team, arguably the best national team ever. The surname Fabisch rings loud in the memories of the Zimbabwean football community. Jonah’s father was the mentor of the famed Dream Team that featured the likes of Peter Ndlovu, Norman Mapeza, the late Benjamin Nkonjera and Francis Shonhayi among others.

Over the years, debate after debate has been had by football pundits: was Fabisch the best thing to have happened to local football? Were his selection choices the best?

But what has not been questioned was his belief in a young Mapeza despite often using him as a right wing back or centre back while he was playing as a defensive midfielder abroad.

Interestingly, Mapeza was full of praises for Jonah, a Hamburger SV player, saying given the opportunity, he would unleash the potential inherent in him.

With a little bit of luck, Jonah could have ended the game with an assist, but David Moyo, having been fed perfectly, was indecisive.

Mapeza said: “We obviously had to give him (Fabisch) a chance. He is committed and very well focused. He is also a good footballer and he has a lot in terms of potential as well. He gave us a good shift.”

He added: “He is a fighter and he hardly loses the ball. But his introduction should be gradual. We had to give him some minutes and he showed what he is capable of doing.

He can become a top, top player for us in the future. You guys saw him and it’s up to you to judge. He has the potential and we can bank on him.

But what is important is the process, which should be gradual. We need to incorporate him into the system in a gradual manner and that way he can learn and eventually become a top player he should be.”

The young midfielder, who was born to the ex-Warriors coach and Chawada Kachidza-Fabisch in year 2001, said his debut for Zimbabwe was not exactly what he had expected given the team dropped points which looked very much in their grasp.

“Dropping off points is something which is very disappointing especially at home. We were looking at winning this final match against Ethiopia to try and get the confidence we need going forward.

We need to win to restore our pride as a nation. But well as a player, I am happy with how I performed although I feel I should have done a lot better in some of the aspects of the game,” he said.

Jonah said he was still adapting, adding that he was grateful to Mapeza for giving him a chance.

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