“Highlanders to reassign Joel Luphahla”

22 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
“Highlanders to reassign Joel Luphahla” Joel Luphahla

The Sunday News

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter

HIGHLANDERS Football Club assistant coach Joel Luphahla is reportedly set to get a new post within the club, a move seen as a way of circumventing demands for Zifa’s standardisation of coaches and bring him back to the bench.

Zifa has said they are on a path to fully implement club licencing, with standardisation of coaches topping the list as they want qualified coaches on the bench. Sources within Highlanders said Luphahla will either be registered as a kit manager or welfare manager. Vezigama Dlodlo is Highlanders’ welfare manager, but sources said he is likely to be reassigned to head the juniors.

“Management has been toying around with the idea to release juniors’ manager Smart Moyo and Bosso 90’s Mark Dube, with Vezigama coming down with Joe (Luphahla) replacing him in the first team so that he sits on the bench. Before the arrival of Abraham Mbayiwa there were even talks of registering Antonio Torres as the fitness trainer because he has those qualifications.

“What is going to happen is that now Torres will upgrade his qualifications and seek a Caf A Licence, while Joe will be registered either as a kit manager or welfare manager because there are many roles that he can be registered in to be on the bench,” said the source.

Mbayiwa, a holder of a Sports Science degree from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) has filled the vacant fitness trainer’s position previously held by Harold “Rock” Nhachi. Club sources said Highlanders’ management feel that the club needs someone who knows their culture to understudy head coach Baltemar Brito, so that when the expatriate leaves, that person takes over. Brito and Torres, who joined Amahlolanyama in June last year have their contracts expiring at the end of this year.

NUST

It is in this regard that the club has stuck to Luphahla whose dream of being the Bosso head coach can only become a reality if he upgrades his coaching credentials. Contacted for comment, Nozibelo Maphosa, the Highlanders communications and marketing officer said: “There hasn’t been any changes to the senior squad except the announced ones on our social media platforms. If there are any changes even in our technical staff we will advise.”

Luphahla, a Caf Level C badge holder is among a number of technical teams’ personnel that were “ejected” to the terraces in July last year after failing to get accredited as they don’t have requisite qualifications. According to resolutions made by Zifa in 2017 that the present leadership is implementing, Premiership coaches and their assistants should be in possession of a Caf A badge. Qualified technical staff members that were accredited were coaches, team managers, kits managers, doctors, physiotherapists, fitness trainers and Covid-19 compliance officers.

Chicken Inn made technical adjustments last week as they moved towards compliance by appointing Prince Matore as head coach. Former Bulawayo City gaffer Farai Tawachera has been engaged as assistant to Matore. Joey Antipas a Caf B coaching licence holder will be reassigned a new role at the club.

Joey Antipas

The Zimbabwe Soccer Coaches Association (Zisca), who are in support of implementation of standardisation of coaches and want Zifa to roll it out to the core have set motion to meet the football mother body. The coaches said since no Caf coaching clinics have been held since 2017, they believe that as “important” stakeholders they deserve a meeting with Zifa to discuss the way forward.

— Follow on Twitter @ZililoR

Share This: