By Augustine Hwata
NEW Warriors coach Klaus Dieter Pagels has revealed that his a great admirer of Lloyd Mutasa’s coaching style, which he believes could add value to the senior national team set up.
Mutasa was yesterday officially unveiled as one of the new assistant coaches to work with Pagels along former Warriors skipper Peter Ndlovu and Monomotapa assistant coach Nkululeko Dhlamini.
Dhlamini comes in as the goalkeeper’s coach while Harare businessman Sharif Mussa is expected to bounce back into the Warriors technical set up and retain his previous post as team manager.
Former Black Rhinos and Dynamos winger Ian Gorowa was also unveiled as a special assignments assistant coach, a position he previously failed to fulfill under Sunday Chidzambwa. Mutasa is currently in Swaziland while Gorowa is the chief scout for Mamelodi Sundowns.
Ndlovu is the national Under-23 team head coach. Zifa said they will soon appoint the medical team, a fitness trainer and a team psychologist. Pagels, who is currently the Zifa technical adviser, spoke highly of Mutasa and Ndlovu whom he described as some of the brightest coaching prospects for Zimbabwe.
The German expatriate, who first came to Zimbabwe in 2009, told a press conference that he was impressed by Mutasa’s now defunct Kiglon then. “When I first came here, I watched a game involving Kiglon and Lloyd Mutasa was by then coaching the club.
“I liked the way the team played its football. It was a fine one or two touch football. Really I was impressed, by the way his Kiglon played their match with such flair,” said Pagels.
Pagels, whose first competitive match with the Warriors will be the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Egypt, has said all hope is not yet lost for Zimbabwe in their campaign.
Zimbabwe have a slim chance of progressing to the next round as they have to collect all the 12 points at stake in the race to finish top of the group before progressing to the next round.
Since coming to start his official tour of duty in August 2010, Pagels’ main thrust has been on development programmes but he will now be doubling up as the caretaker national team coach. Pagels also said he also has great respect for former Warriors legend Ndlovu.
“Peter is someone who played in England for a long time. He played at the highest level and knows the trends in modern football,” said Pagels.
At present Pagels said he has not been impressed by the type of football being played in Zimbabwe and the German expert is confident of introducing a brand for the Warriors.
“I will introduce my type of football here and I am sure Mutasa and Peter share my vision. Mostly the type of football that I have witnessed here has been the kick and rush type of play. I like to play one touch football. Sometimes we can make two passes and that’s what I saw Mutasa doing at Kiglon,” said Pagels.
The time that the players will spend in camp, Pagels said might not be enough for him to achieve maximum results from his troops especially with the foreign legion coming in. “I hope the players will be able to keep up with our training programme during the short space of time we will spend in camp.”
Zifa, who are cash strapped now look up to the German expert as they seek to revive the fortunes of the men’s national team and have now turned to the government-to-government agreement which brought Pagels here.
In this case, Zifa have taken advantage of the situation as the German government will continue taking care of the coach’s expenses. Already the cash strapped Zifa are sitting on a pile of lawsuits as former coaches Valinhos, Sunday Chidzambwa and Norman Mapeza are demanding their dues.
Interestingly, when Pagels assumed his duties as technical adviser, he pointed out that coaching the national team was not his priority then. “I’m not surprised that I am getting this job because I have been in this country for the past two years.
“As technical adviser, I have been travelling around the country and doing development programmes. Now with this post, my aim and task is to look at players who can get to be in national team.
“From what I have noticed, we have talent and I think its good that we have to come up with young players who will fight for the bigger task. I hope I will help Zimbabwe to find the players who will bring Zimbabwe back to greater heights,” said Pagels.
Zifa president Cuthbert Dube, who officially announced the new look interim Warriors coaches called on the whole nation to rally behind Pagels as Zifa seek a new beginning for the national game.
At the moment, local football is at its lowest ebb, after Zimbabwe blew away a golden chance to qualify for the African Cup of Nations in South Africa next year.
“Our failure to qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations, coupled with our National Under-17 and Under-20 teams’ aborted sojourns to destinations around Africa should be one piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
“Zifa are committed to a new beginning, better fortunes and a great future as such today (yesterday) we shall unveil the interim technical structure for the senior national team. We could not wait until March next year to have a new look Warriors squad in place.
“The interim structure’s responsibilities shall consist drawing up the national team performance benchmarks, drawing up a provisional squad of players who were not part of the Asiagate scandal active participants,” said Dube.
Dube said Pagels and his team have been mandated with drawing up a list of their preferred opponents ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifiers and establishing a modern day communication net work for the senior national team in terms of call ups.
“Zifa would like to appeal to the family of football to have unity of purpose as we rebuild the Warriors. The rebuilding exercise shall not be a stroll in the park, given that the exercise shall endure all sorts of social and economic terrains.
“We appeal to the entire nation to rally behind the technical structure to work around the clock in laying a strong foundation for the Warriors, a foundation upon which Zimbabwe’s football folklore shall be built.
“We cannot continue harping on the failed campaigns, we need to formulate a new war-cry as we navigate through the rubble of failed campaigns,” he said. The Herald