Who will coach Bosso?…Brito, assistant pocketed US$10k per month,

10 Dec, 2023 - 00:12 0 Views
Who will coach Bosso?…Brito, assistant pocketed US$10k per month, Madinda Ndlovu

The Sunday News

Lovemore Dube, Sports Hub Coordinator

THE million-dollar question in Zimbabwe football is who is going to coach Highlanders  come 1 January, 2024.

Bosso parted ways with Baltemar Brito last week after the Portuguese led the team to a fifth finish this season. It is that same position the club occupied at the end of 2022 when he replaced Mandla Mpofu halfway through the championship.

Brito finished with 54 points, three less than last year’s total and the club will be relieved that they won’t be parting with US$10 000 in salaries for the coach and his assistant/interpreter. Add winning bonuses of about US$1 000 per match, Highlanders will make obvious gains from the departure and hopefully, the replacement will be given some respect and paid better than locals have previously been treated. But it has to be within what the club can afford.

The Highlanders executive is under pressure to appoint Brito’s replacement now. This will allow the coaches to find replacements for the departing players on time and not rely more on free agents without much to give to the club.

Championships are won and lost during the first two weeks of the off-season as most coaches and administrators close shop only to open the following year when the best talent on the market has been snatched.

Zimpapers Sports Hub today looks at some of the names that keep on coming up on the Highlanders shopping list for coaches.

1. Lizwe Sweswe

This is the man who nearly saved Gweru side Sheasham from relegation in the Premier Soccer League and is among the odds-on favourites for the job. Sweswe, elder brother to former Bosso and Dynamos defender, Thomas Sweswe is a Bulawayo boy who knows the expectations of the city and community. When Highlanders does well the Bulawayo economy kicks.

Lizwe Sweswe

He has shown himself to be a good strategist using resources made available. At FC Platinum he won the league title against all odds with a side that played some good football. At Sheasham he inherited a team that started on the back foot and he appeared to be winning the survival battle but a few bad results in the run-in, cost him a great escape with a bunch of mostly average players. For any coach, the Highlanders passionate following countrywide is a compelling reason for wanting to be at the helm.

2.Madinda Ndlovu

 He could probably be the best man for a rebuilding Highlanders. He has always shown guts by playing youngsters and it has been a masterstroke for the club. This is the perfect chance for Bosso to go into football business with a coach who understands the culture of the club. Ndlovu is a man who rose through the ranks and established himself as a real club legend matched probably by a handful in his generation and those that followed in terms of impact at Highlanders and in the country.

Should Highlanders retain Madinda and thrust him on the hot seat, the club is assured of reaping rewards in the future. The promising crop at Bosso90 and a few young boys in the first team will get the exposure and grow as players and some will eventually be sold to help beef up club coffers. But it is his health that the club could spare him and give him a role less strenuous to deal with scouting and directing development. Also, the club needs a director of football, a board member with a playing or coaching background, and a seat for someone with technical input in the executive so that there are more football brains to aid some of the decisions that the club arrives at. At the moment the club has a former player and referee but both ended their careers in the lower echelons. Madinda and another former player of integrity could add oomph going forward for the club.

3. Thulani Sibanda

Known as “Mr Bulawayo Chiefs” for his hate and love relationship with Amakhosi Amahle, Sibanda is another prospect. He has never hidden his ambition to coach Bosso. The former Entumbane Cosmos player, is a modern-day academic (holds a degree in Sports Science from Nust)  whose strength lies in the technical, tactical and engagement of human sciences into his works. 

He could just be a better option than to bank on “supernatural” powers to rescue the club. Sibanda’s advantage could be his familiarity with junior players and those from lower-division sides in the region. A young coach with so much promise, he could be Madinda’s best second in charge as he understudies the former Zimbabwe international. Sibanda’s strength is keeping the team together even in times of strife, he can be relied upon to stay on the field begging the boys to look at the broader picture which is playing their best for nothing and attract future attention for better deals where money is better. He is a good manager of players coupled with technical and tactical strategy. As a Bulawayo boy the expectations of the masses are on the horizon and he needs no introduction.

4.  Nation Dube

He has shown glimpses of why at some stage he was national team assistant coach when he led Hwange to survival in the just-ended season. He came in as a broom boy at the beginning of the season to cover up for Bongani Mafu and Try Ncube who did not have a Caf A qualification. As Hwange struggled, Dube once thrown the gauntlet proved himself and took the club out of the ambers to a top 10 finish. The Pumula North-bred cool coach would love someday to coach in his home city. It cannot be any better than the third biggest job in the land after the Warriors and the Dynamos ones. These are pressure cooker jobs where results,  be it a friendly or practice match, are expected to be positive all the time. Dube fended off relegation with a team short on morale due to financial challenges with some of the players going into their third season without signing on fees. Despite being low on motivation Dube was able to come up with his ideas and ensure the boys were in the right frame of mind to win matches and survive the chop. Like Madinda, Sibanda and Sweswe he has a Caf A badge.

Others

Other names that could come into the mix are those of Mebelo Njekwa, Blessing Moyo, Saul Chaminuka, John Ncube, Sunday Chidzambwa, Moses Chunga and Tawanda Kaseke. Chaminuka did well with Rhinos despite the chop. He reached the semi-finals of the Chibuku Super Cup and has lived in Bulawayo before and is conversant with the Bulawayo football and life cultures. Could this be the time for Highlanders to consider beyond the imaginary divide and look at coaches like Lloyd Chitembwe, Chunga, Chidzambwa and Chaminuka? Moyo is assistant coach at high flying Jwaneng Galaxy of Botswana who are in the group stages of the Caf Champions League.

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