By Tedious Manyepo
Nearly a year after he we went into self-imposed exile from football, former Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa is ready to bounce back and revealed yesterday that he is now on a job-hunting mission and prepared to take offers.
Pasuwa told the world that he was taking a sabbatical after a failed mission with his Warriors at the 2017 African Cup of Nations where they finished bottom of their group without a win.
At the Nations Cup, the Warriors were in a tough Group that included Algeria, Tunisia and Senegal. They, however, could only manage a single point following a 2-2 draw against Algeria and defeats to Tunisia and Senegal .
Shortly before his return home from the Nations Cup tournament in Gabon, Pasuwa threw in the towel and later just saw off the last days of his contract with ZIFA.
The coach who won successive Premiership titles with DeMbare between 2011-2014 had ignored overtures from local and foreign clubs including those from Tanzania and Malawi.
He had also been touted for the Malawi national coach’s job, but as he retreated from the public glare, Pasuwa insisted he wanted a break.
Yesterday Pasuwa was back doing what he knows best, as he took charge of a programme organised by the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe.
FUZ have organised an Out-of-Contract players training camp at Motor Action Sports Club in Harare which started yesterday and will run until Saturday and Pasuwa is coaching those players during this off-season.
Now in his new job-hunting mission Pasuwa said he will take any good offers that came his way, but insisted that any deal would depend on the assessment that would have been done by manager Gibson Mahachi.
With Pasuwa revealing that he is now open to offers, the news could excite 2017 Malawian champions BeForward Wanderers who have placed him on their radar.
BeForward Wanderers are understood to have sought Pasuwa’s expertise as the club bounces back into the Champions League after a 17-year absence. Tanzanian giants SC Simba have also previously expressed interest in the coach’s services.
Although he revealed his intentions to bounce back, Pasuwa declined to discuss the finer details of his next step and maintained that Mahachi would make the necessary announcements when “something concrete had been tabled”.
“I announced last year that I was taking a break from football to have more time with my family and friends. I now think I have done that and I am ready to take offers where my manager Gibson Mahachi sees it fit.
“I was so much under pressure after that African Cup of Nations last year. Obviously I needed a break from the game to fully resuscitate my mind. But I feel I have had enough of the sabbatical and I need to come back now.
That I am here coaching these youngsters shows that I am back into football. I am actually happy to be back doing what I like doing.
“I am open to offers and I will be back anytime soon. On the Malawian club which was once reported to be interested in my services, I am sure Gibson Mahachi knows better about that, but I cannot confirm nor deny it. What I am very sure of is I am ready to bounce back into football full time,” Pasuwa said.
Pasuwa also lauded FUZ for organising the week-long training programme saying it gives some unlucky talented players the platform to secure possible new contracts.
The coach noted that most of the players who are attending this year’s edition of the FUZ programme “deserve to play top-flight football’’ and he was ready to help them in whichever way he could do.
Pasuwa once again spoke out strongly against drug abuse by players, calling on those at clubs and those seeking jobs to be disciplined.
“The camp got off to a good start with over 60 players coming. Generally, I am very much surprised why most of the players especially those who have never seen top-tier football, have not attracted interests from top clubs.
“Maybe the reasons could be different and that’s why we will try to knock some sense of professionalism into them during this camp.
Football players need to be disciplined on and off the pitch and they should stop abusing drugs. We have witnessed several cases of indiscipline and that is not healthy for footballers as that will only cut short their careers.
“I would also want to urge FUZ to give rural folks a chance to showcase their talent at platforms such as this as there is a lot of raw talent in the countryside,” said Pasuwa.
Pasuwa is being assisted by former Arcadia United and Eiffel Flats midfielder Shepherd Muradzikwa and Shabanie Mine gaffer Takesure Chiragwi at the camp. The Herald