By Patrick Chitumba
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League debutants TelOne FC officially unveiled Rahman Gumbo as the club’s new head coach on Tuesday evening.
The appointment of the former national senior team’s assistant coach put an end to weeks of speculation about who would be tasked with steering the team out of the league’s red zone.
Gumbo was unveiled together with new signings, former Highlanders’ winger King Nadolo, David Temwanjira, Charles Mutero, Fredrick Muza and Gift Bvundura.
The Wi-Fi Boys’ technical structure consisted of Joel Luphahla, who does not hold the requisite Caf A coaching licence, running the show in the shadow of head coach Jairos Tapera, who was clearly just a place holder.
Gumbo’s arrival will see Tapera and Lupaphla being redeployed to other roles within the club, as it plans to establish development sides and a women’s team.
TelOne president, Lloyd Mutetwa, said Gumbo’s immediate task was to lift the team out of the relegation zone where they are currently languishing in 16th place on the 18-team league table with 17 points from 19 games.
“We are here to announce the coming on board of our new head coach, Rahman Gumbo. He is coming in at a time when we have also brought in new signings, Nadolo, Temwanjira, Mutero, Muza and Bvundura,” said Mutetwa.
“We believe the coming in of the new coach and the new signings will take the team out of the relegation zone.”
Mutetwa said Gumbo’s contract does not specify the period he will be in charge, but it will be determined by his performance.
He also indicated that Gumbo will select his own assistants and other backroom staff.
Gumbo said he was confident TelOne would avoid relegation.
“From what I have seen from the players, relegation can be avoided. What is lacking is confidence and through my experience and value, I can bring that,” Gumbo said.
The veteran coach, who has also had successful stints in Botswana and Malawi, said he does not have any pressure going into the new job.
“I am not under pressure; maybe after a couple of weeks. I am coming to enjoy myself. I am an established coach and TelOne are on a building exercise. If it was a big team, maybe I would feel pressure, but this is an up-and-coming project and it would be good to build the team to a higher level, so that younger coaches take over after that,” he said.
TelOne’s next match is a tricky road trip to Nyamhunga Stadium where they face ZPC Kariba on Saturday. The Chronicle