Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE CURTAIN came down on the 2017 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season last weekend and some coaches and players will be jobless following expiry of their contracts.
The off-season is likely to be busy with coaches moving around.
However, a few of them are almost guaranteed of staying in their respective jobs, among them title winning coach, Norman Mapeza, of FC Platinum.
Dynamos’ Lloyd Mutasa is also safe following a spirited season, which saw his ordinary DeMbare squad challenging for the title up to the last day of the season.
Unlike Mapeza, Mutasa didn’t have the luxury of getting the best players at the beginning of the season because of limited resources at Dynamos.
Gone are the days when the brand “Dynamos” or “Highlanders” would lure players. Nowadays money talks and the so-called giants are unable to compete for top stars with moneybags such as FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Chicken Inn and relegated Harare City.
Mutasa’s achievement of finishing second, just two points behind FC Platinum, speaks volumes of his capabilities and he should stay put at Dynamos.
Although he failed to win the title, Tonderai Ndiraya led Ngezi to a third place finish and should be given the nod to challenge for the championship next year.
However, the same cannot be said of Rahman Gumbo at Chicken Inn. The veteran gaffer’s contract expires at the end of December and both parties are yet to review the season.
Chicken Inn had one of the strongest squads in the PSL and were among the favourites to win the title, but they somehow fizzled out. Maybe going for the whole season without an assistant coach was too much for Gumbo.
The multi-championship winning coach had to rely on goalkeepers’ trainer Julius Ndlovu and manager Sikhumbuzo Banda for assistance, as the club took long to find him an assistant.
However, events towards the end of the season, which saw Gumbo being slapped with a $2 500 fine after being found guilty of causing the abandonment of their game against Yadah FC in the Chibuku Super Cup game, have reportedly not gone well with the Chicken Inn bosses.
Gumbo was linked with a move to Highlanders, something that created uneasiness at Chicken Inn.
Highlanders have openly said they are looking for a former son to lead them and following Gumbo’s illustrious stay at Bosso where he won two titles at the turn of the millennium, the gaffer could find himself back at the Bulawayo giants as a replacement for Erol Akbay, who returned to his native Netherlands on Wednesday.
Unconfirmed reports tip Caps United coach, Lloyd Chitembwe, to take over from Sunday Chidzambwa at ZPC Kariba. Chidzambwa introduced himself as the outgoing ZPC Kariba coach at the Soccer Stars of the Year selection process in Harare on Tuesday.
He is being linked with a move to Yadah.
Another club headhunting a coach is How Mine. Zambian, Kelvin Kaindu, decided not to extend his stay at the gold miners following a tumultuous season.
But just who are the coaches available in the market?
Former national team coach, Callisto Pasuwa, who won four consecutive championships with Dynamos, and Joey Antipas, who led Chicken Inn to the 2015 title, are the top names on the market.
Former Highlanders’ coach Madinda Ndlovu, who is reportedly unsettled at Orapa in Botswana, could also avail himself to local clubs.
Article Source: The Chronicle