The Sunday News
Don Makanyanga, Harare Bureau
NEW Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic looks set to hit the ground running, with the 55-year-old gaffer scheduling a one-on-one meeting with his predecessor Joey Antipas, this week, as he aims to get the inside track on his charges.
The Croat — who was unveiled as Warriors mentor last Thursday revealed that he would want to get an insight on the Warriors from Antipas and values the knowledge the Chicken Inn coach has on the senior team. Antipas, who was the interim coach will now serve as Loga’s Number Two in the new technical set-up.
Loga also intends to meet the Warriors second assistant coach, Lloyd Chitembwe, with the purpose of both meetings being to share his vision, for the Warriors, with the two men. The former Sudan coach did not have the luxury of bringing in his own assistant with Zifa electing to appoint locals to understudy him.
“Usually I would take someone with me, but it’s always an added advantage if you also have people who are already on site.
“About those coaches (Antipas and Chitembwe), I’ve learnt a lot of nice things about them and their personalities, like the first assistant applied for the national team job and now serves an assistant coach. Let’s see how we will solve that problem. I just know that they are both mature people who love their country, and my success is their success.
“At this time, I must depend on them to give me proper names. We made the right decisions to bring in local coaches as assistants, what I asked from the people, from the federation, was to give me loyal people who are soldiers of the country.
“I hope and believe they will do it with a clean heart,” Loga said.
Apart from the meetings, Loga and his lieutenants will also be following tomorrow’s Total African Nations Championship (Chan) draw in Egypt. The tournament will be in Cameroon in April, with 16 teams expected to converge on the West African country. These include Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, Guinea, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, DRC, Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia, with the tournament catering exclusively for players who play in their national championships.
Loga who guided the Desert Hawks of Sudan to a third-place finish in their debut appearance at the tournament in 2011 has hinted that it could be Antipas and Chitembwe who might take the lead at Chan tournament.
“The draw is on Monday (tomorrow), we are eagerly waiting for it but until we know our opponents then we will know how will prepare for ourselves and analyse how will go about business,” he said.
With a back to back 2021 Nations Cup qualifiers against reigning champions Algeria next month Loga has placed priority on the Chan assignment but is worried about the inactivity of local players ahead of the competition itself as the local season is yet to kick off.
“In the meantime, before we start talking about Algeria, we have to prepare completely for Chan because we are facing some problems. The first problem is that there are no competitive league games, at the moment, and so we have no idea how fit these players are,” he said.