By Mehluli Sibanda in Mhondoro
Ngezi Platinum Stars have shown faith in Rodwell Dhlakama by appointing him substantive head coach following what the club feels, was a satisfactory caretaker role.
Stanley Segula, the Ngezi Platinum president, announced that Dhlakama had been upgraded from caretaker to substantive.
“Please join me in confirming the appointment of Rodwell Dhlakama as the substantive head coach of Ngezi Platinum Stars. Well done coach,” Segula said in a speech read on his behalf by the club’s vice-president (technical) Lysias Chiwozva at an awards ceremony on Wednesday.
Segula said he had no reservations about Dhlakama’s ability to land the biggest prize for Madamburo.
“As the newly-appointed substantive head coach of the greatest club in the country, I have no doubt in him. We have a capable and energetic young leader who can deliver the big prize for this brand.
“So, the onus is on you head coach to deliver; we are going to support you by all means necessary to enable you to develop this club and deliver the aspirations of the club.”
He said Dhlakama was now free to restructure his technical team as per his desire in preparation for the 2020 season.
Dhlakama feels being given the job fulltime affords him the opportunity to realise his full potential and see if he is taking steps forward in his coaching career.
“It’s something special for me given the circumstances which I was in at previous clubs. Sometimes you are at a club which is not well sponsored, except for Monomotapa and maybe to a lesser extent Caps United, but now that you are at a team that is well resourced, it’s easy for me to measure myself to see whether I am progressing as a coach,” Dhlakama said.
The former Kiglon, Monomotapa, Shooting Stars, Caps United, Chapungu, Green Mambas (Swaziland) and Manzini Sundowns (Swaziland) coach guided Ngezi Platinum to a top four finish in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League. They also finished as runners-up in the Chibuku Super Cup after falling 0-1 to Highlanders in the final.
“I didn’t start with the team, but when I was introduced I realised some grey areas in some components of the game which I worked on with the boys and I saw some improvement, which is why we finished in a respectable position on the log.”
The 45-year-old Dhlakama was engaged as Ngezi Platinum Stars interim coach at the end of September after they parted ways with Dutchman, Erol Akbay, in the same month. Akbay was at Ngezi Platinum for only nine months. The Chronicle