By Eddie Chikamhi
Manica Diamonds chairman Masimba Chihowa yesterday said they have begun the hunt for a substantive coach to replace veteran Luke Masomere who was sacked following a depressing run of form.
The club announced the decision to part ways with the coach in a brief press statement yesterday in response to a winless run of seven games that has left them outside the top half midway through the season.
The 0-2 home defeat by Black Rhinos at the weekend forced the team’s leadership to terminate the relationship with assistant coach Johannes Nhumwa expected to take over the reins in the interim.
“Manica Diamonds FC announces that head coach Luke Masomere has left the club with immediate effect.
“The club would like to thank Luke Masomere for his work during his time at Manica Diamonds FC and to wish him success in the future.
“A new caretaker manager will be appointed while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full time head coach,” said the club in their statement.
Masomere had been at the helm of the club from its formation in 2017 when they played in the ZIFA Eastern Region Division One.
He helped them gain promotion after winning the 2018 championship race with seven games to spare.
However, the ambitious Mutare side have found the going tough in the top-flight league where they have managed 19 points from 17 games.
They occupy 11th place on the log standings and club chairman Chihowa yesterday said they had not expected to be in the bottom half of the table at this stage of the marathon.
The Gem Boys invested a fortune for their debut Premiership season by buying over 20 new players.
Chihowa said they had set Masomere a top-eight finish target but there were doubts whether he would achieve that following a run of inconsistent performances and a dip in form that saw them going seven games without A WIN.
“Obviously, we are not happy with where we are at the moment on the log table. This is not what we had expected. Results were not coming as expected, of late, especially the last seven to eight games.
“I can’t say exactly what went wrong because some of these things are technical. As a club I thought we have done our bit and provided the resources under difficult conditions.
“But we haven’t been winning and when you look at these results, they paint a gloomy picture. However, I think it can be corrected. That is why we have made the changes.
“What we have done is that we have relieved the head coach of his duties and we will sit down and plan the way forward.
“Obviously, we will go for someone with the right qualifications and the experience so that we achieve our set goals,” said Chihowa.
Manica Diamonds have managed four wins, seven draws and six losses under Masomere.
They last won a match on June 1 when they thrashed Yadah 3-0. The Chronicle