By Eddie Chikamhi
Another massive shake-up has been made in the Zimbabwe Warriors set up with Ian Gorowa taking over as coach with a changed backroom staff that include Dynamos mentor Callisto Pasuwa as one of his assistants.
Gorowa is replacing German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels who leaves next week following the expiry of his contract, which was an agreement between the government of Zimbabwe and their European counterparts.
Zifa yesterday held a board meeting where it emerged that Gorowa will most likely be assisted by Pasuwa and former Zimbabwe Under-20 coach Jairos Tapera while Richard Tswatswa bounces back as goalkeepers’ trainer.
Although Zifa decided to keep everything under wraps, Gorowa will ake charge of the Warriors’ next assignment when they engage Mauritius in the CHAN qualifiers this weekend.
That means Pagels’ support staff of Lloyd Mutasa, Nkululeko Dhlamini and Peter Ndlovu, who has since found a new job at South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, will be sacrificed once everything has been resolved.
Pagels, who introduced a new brand of tiki-taka football, has only been in charge for the last seven months.
Zifa are eager to establish long-term solution to the Warriors coaching structures ahead of 2015 Afcon qualifiers which begin early next year.
The board’s final decision is expected to be communicated after today’s meeting.
Zifa communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela, yesterday refused to shed light on the latest developments and said the association will make a formal statement this afternoon.
“I cannot comment on the other information that you have because a decision has not yet been made.
“As far as Zifa is concerned, Pagels is still in charge until we make a formal announcement about the Warriors trip to Mauritius and everything pertaining to the technical staff tomorrow (this afternoon).
“The board is expected to meet again (today) and afterwards there will be a full statement on the coaching staff and all the travel arrangements to Mauritius. We will also advise on who will be in charge in Mauritius,” said Gwesela.
Former national Under-20 team manager Patrick Mutesva, who has been acting in the place of Sharif Mussa, is expected to take over the same role in the Warriors set-up with speculation that long-serving Warriors manger could be on his way out of the senior team set-up amid indications that he is facing increasing pressure of business commitments.
Mussa, a hardworking and likeable character, has worked with the various national coaches since 2004 as an understudy to former Warriors manager Rafiq Adam.
The Harare businessman has over the years seen his stock rising with coaches and players charmed by the professional way he handles his duties.
Even when Zifa made a huge blunder to sideline him for several months, Mussa continued to offer support services to the Warriors from the background.
Mussa then returned in December last year following an apology from Zifa president Cuthbert Dube over the controversial and unethical manner he had been sidelined.
His return also coincided with Pagels’ arrival in the Warriors dressing room. Mussa could not shed much light on his future except to say he was currently on leave to observe Ramadan (Muslim month of Fasting).
But sources said the businessman has been considering retirement for some time after dedicating resources and energies during the last 10 years to serving the national team.
“He had been thinking about that for some time because the nature of the job is demanding. He did his best under the circumstances but now with pressing commitments elsewhere he feels it’s now time to give others a chance to continue with the journey,” said the source.
The Warriors, who regrouped in Harare yesterday, are expected to leave tomorrow for the CHAN qualifier against Mauritius with Mutesva saying they have called up Dynamos’ Partson Jaure and in-form Highlanders attacking midfielder Milton Ncube to beef up the squad.
The technical team retained the 20-member squad that travelled to Zambia for the Cosafa tournament last week.
Mutesva said the squad will be trimmed down to 18 after the afternoon training session.
Goalkeepers: Maxwell Nyamupangedengu (Harare City), Munyaradzi Diya (Highlanders), Tafadzwa Dube (CAPS United)
Defenders: Hardlife Zvirekwi (CAPS United), Felix Chindungwe (Chicken Inn), Partson Jaure, Ocean Mushure (both Dynamos), Eric Chipeta (Hwange), Nicholas Guyo (Monomotapa), Prosper Matizanadzo (Buffaloes)
Midfielders: Milton Ncube, Masimba Mambare (both Highlanders), Devon Chafa (Dynamos), Ali Sadiki, Charles Sibanda (both FC Platinum), Silas Songani (Harare City), Ronald Chitiyo (Monomotapa), Nicholas Alifandika (Black Mambas)
Strikers: Tendai Ndoro (Chicken Inn), Lot Chiwunga (Black Rhinos), Simba Sithole (How Mine), Last Chibwiro (Black Mambas).