By Mehluli Sibanda
Being jobless has not stopped former Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu from seeking to enhance his coaching qualifications as he is in Hamburg, Germany for a Uefa A pre-course seminar.
Mafu left Zimbabwe last Friday for Germany where he will be until 5 January. During the time in Europe, Mafu, rendered jobless in October when he was forced out of his job by Botswana Premiership side Orapa, will attend a seminar as he prepares to register for a Uefa A coaching course.
At the moment, Mafu holds a Uefa B which he obtained in the United Kingdom in 2013 and is looking to upgrade to Uefa A.
“I am going to Hamburg for a pre-course seminar where they teach you what the expectations of attending a Uefa A are, the pre-requisites, the levels of coaching that you should have done and the documentation that you should prepare, basically the things that you would need to go through the course in total,’’ Mafu said before his departure last week.
On how he came to participate in this seminar, Mafu indicated that his German friend, Berndt Kirsten whose team Sherborne Town he used to coach during his time in the UK facilitated his attendance at the convention.
“My German friend whose team I used to coach in the UK is back in Germany and he managed to register me for this symposium.”
On the benefits of attending this conference, the Cosafa Cup winning former Zimbabwe Warriors assistant coach outlined that it is an opportunity for him to have an appreciation on what is expected of the Uefa A.
“It already gives you the thinking of a Uefa A coach, you start thinking and working to the standards of Uefa A. When you move to Uefa B it is the biggest picture when you are now looking at how you work with the national teams,’’ he said.
With registration for Uefa A, which is a two-year course due to open in UK in January, Mafu is keen to put his name down.
Since he holds a Uefa B, Mafu said it has been difficult for him to attain Caf coaching qualification because he has to start from the lowest of them all, that is Caf C, something he is not keen to do.
“Registration for Uefa A opens in England in January, that’s when you do the registration. By March you should be going for modules, you go in for two weeks.
I would love to do Uefa A because it’s been very difficult for me to try and get into this Caf thing because I didn’t start from the Caf Cs, I started with Uefa B,’’ Mafu said.
While being jobless is something difficult to handle, Mafu is actually at ease because to him the working situation at Orapa was no longer what it should have been. He sees his unemployed status as an opportunity to develop himself at his own pace.
“Being jobless is not very exciting because I am a football coach and I would rather be in a football field but I am actually relieved of the loss of the job at Orapa because the working environment was no longer as I would have expected.
It also gives me time to take stock and plan and develop myself through a planned platform. It’s a break, hopefully it’s not a break that will last for a long time,’’ Mafu remarked.
Besides Highlanders and Orapa, Mafu has also coached Zimbabwe Saints, Gaborone United and Mochudi Centre Chiefs. Sunday News.