FORMER Warriors captain and FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza has emerged as Zifa’s number one target to fill the vacant Warriors’ coach position, as the mother body looks to appoint a local coach. BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
There have been a number of coaches that have been linked to the job of late that include former Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa, Joey “Mafero” Antipas, Caps United’s Lloyd Chitembwe, Bruce Grobbelaar and Rahman Gumbo.
However, well-placed sources told NewsDaySport that Mapeza — a winner of the league title with Monomotapa in 2008, leads the pack as the Zifa executive seeks to recruit the man who will replace Kalisto Pasuwa, who severed ties with the soccer controlling body last week.
The source said former Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu is also in the frame but insisted Mapeza — a strict disciplinarian was highly likely to secure the job ahead of the rest, if he makes himself available.
“The Zifa executive committee should be meeting this week to decide on the coach who will lead the Warriors after the departure of Pasuwa,” the source said yesterday. “And from the look of things, Mapeza is highly likely to land the post. Madinda is also another strong contender. There is a feeling that the two were never given a chance, when they were appointed as co-coaches in 2010. Zifa wants someone with a strong character to take Zimbabwean football forward. Someone experienced — a disciplinarian like Norman Mapeza. Of course he will not come cheap, considering where he is employed, but at the end of the day, something has to be done to take him on board because what is needed is someone who can lift our football.”
The source ruled out the prospects of Chitembwe on the basis that he is yet to attain Caf A coaching badge. The Caps United gaffer, who won his maiden championship last season recently attended the course in Harare, but he is still awaiting results which usually takes about three weeks. But even if he gets the results today, he would still lack post qualification experience.
Antipas, a winner of two championships with Motor Action and Chicken Inn, is said to be too smart and soft for the job. He is now coaching South African National First Division side AmaZulu. Grobbelaar, who also had a short stint with the Warriors is said to be out of touch.
Grobbelaar may also prove out of reach for the cash-strapped mother body, which is struggling to pay Pasuwa’s nine-month salary it owes him.
Pasuwa was earning $7 000 a month.
Chidzambwa, who took Zimbabwe to their maiden African Cup of Nations finals in Tunisia in 2004 has also been ruled out.
The veteran coach, who is now in charge of ZPC Kariba has however, said he would give it a serious thought if offered the job. Chicken Inn coach Rahman Gumbo is also out of the picture.
Initially, there had been reports that Zifa would engage a foreign coach, but it appears the financially troubled association has opted for an indigenous coach.
However, Zifa could take a cue from the Football Federation of Malawi, who have engaged the government seeking a 50-50 salary sharing system for an expatriate coach.
They still await a decision from the country’s President Peter Mutharika.
Pasuwa has been tipped for the Flames job with Grobbelaar and Ian Gorowa among the locals who have applied for the job.
The new coach is expected to guide the Warriors in the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifiers. They were thrown into Group G, together with the continent’s sixth-ranked side Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Brazzaville, ranked 17th, and Liberia on 28th, in a qualifying draw conducted in Libreville, Gabon.