The Sunday News
Mandla Ncube, Sports Reporter
JOEL Luphahla’s latest coaching expedition has left many people wondering what could have been the pull that convinced the former Warriors speedster to join Golden Eagles, a team in the Harare Division Two League.
Having successfully led TelOne to the Castle Premier Soccer League barely two years ago, the new adventure seems like a gamble made in the dark for a man whose coaching career has been expected to take an upward trajectory. Last Thursday saw Golden Eagles, a team co-owned by sportscasters Mike Madoda and Barry Manandi announce the appointment of Luphahla as their new coach.
“Golden Eagles FC is pleased to announce the appointment of Joel Luphahla as head coach. Joe brings a wealth of experience both as a former player and a coach. His refreshing approach to the game is tailor-made to suit our ambitions,” read the club’s statement.
Leaving TelOne seems to have been the most logical decision Luphahla was left with given the uncertainty surrounding their status which appears now to have played a big role in his decision making after having stayed in suspense before confirmation of the Wi-Fi boys’ fate.
“As a coach its always important to have challenges, we tried our best at TelOne and besides it wasn’t clear enough whether we were going to play in Division One or Premiership and I thought if we are playing in Division One it wasn’t making sense for me to go and be an Assistant coach in the very league that I have won before,” said Luphahla.
Luphahla, whose coaching romance has seen him sit on the bench for Caps United, Tsholotsho, Border Strikers make it feel this latest challenge is a major downgrade but the former Warriors winger says he was lured by the vision the owners have of the team and it only took a single phone call to convince him to pack his bags and head north.
“For me I see myself growing there and more importantly the owners impressed me, their vision and the truth is it wasn’t the status,” he said.
Golden Eagles finished second last season and missed on promotion to the Northern Region Division One League with FC Prison Stars getting the elevation. Only time will tell whether this move was the right choice for a coach who has previously defied the same odds that are reversely stacked against him now.