Zifa to appoint national teams coaches
By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
ZIFA is today expected to announce coaches for various representative national teams from the Under-15 level up to the senior national team.
The announcement will also include the new head coach of the Mighty Warriors, who were left coach-less after stand-in coach Shadreck Mlauzi’s services were terminated.
The new coach will lead the girls in the Cosafa Women’s Championships set for Bulawayo in September.
Besides the Under-15 and Mighty Warriors’ head coaches, head honchos of national Under-17, Under-20 and Under-23 sides will also be named.
Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda, who also doubles up as chairperson of the High Performance Committee that recommends candidates for national team posts, said all positions would be filled today.
He was, however, coy on whether Warriors’ stand in coach Norman Mapeza would be made substantive.
“Wait for tomorrow (today), we will announce everything then,” said Sibanda.
The Under-17 coach will have a little over a month to prepare his charges for the 2017 edition of the Cosafa Championship set for Mauritius next month in which Zimbabwe were drawn in Group A with Botswana, Malawi and hosts Mauritius.
The Under-20s also have the Cosafa Championships in December and sources yesterday said
Caps United assistant coach Mark Mathe is likely to be in charge of the team, taking over from Mandla Mpofu, who had been appointed on an interim basis following the resignation of Jairos Tapera upon his appointment at South Africa’s Black Leopards in June last year.
“There is little chance that the guys will tamper with the senior national team set up for now, meaning Mapeza and his lieutenants Tonderayi Ndiraya and Mpofu will continue in their positions, but what we don’t know is whether on an interim or permanent basis now. Ndiraya might be given the Under-23s and one of the most qualified women coaches Sithethelelwe ‘Kwinji 15′ Sibanda is almost certain to take charge of the Mighty Warriors,” said the source.
The Warriors’ gaffer will be expected to immediately call up his preferred squad for the Cosafa Senior Challenge set for South Africa from June 25 to July 9.
The championships will be followed by an African Championship qualifier against Namibia that will be played over two legs on August 11 and a week later.
The winner takes on the victors between Comoros and Lesotho, which is the final leg before the finals in Kenya early next year.
Zimbabwe have qualified for every version of the Chan finals since inception in 2009, but are yet to lift the Cup, which is contested by players plying their trade on the African continent.
With the Under-15s certainly at school level, Zifa might look to the National Association of Primary School Heads (Naph) and their secondary counterparts (Nash) for assistance in identifying suitable candidates. The Chronicle