GERMAN expatriate Klaus Dieter Pagels, appointed Warriors' caretaker coach, will only get his first competitive game with the senior team in March when Zimbabwe resume their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign with a tough trip to former African champions Egypt.
Zifa, battling for financial resources, have opted to cash in on the Government-to-Government agreement that brought Pagels to Zimbabwe as a technical adviser to the association and have engaged him to take full charge of the Warriors for the remainder of their World Cup qualification bid that is currently off the rails following two draws against Guinea and Mozambique.
The tall German coach will now take charge of the Warriors on a caretaker basis at least until his initial contract with Zifa expires in July next year.
Pagels comes in following the resignation of Rahman Gumbo after the former FC Platinum mentor failed to steer the Warriors to the 2013 African Cup of Nations finals in South Africa.
Zifa chief executive, Jonathan Mashingaidze, confirmed Pagels appointment in a statement yesterday and said the German mentor would, in mid-December, unveil the rest of his technical crew.
Mashingaidze said although Pagels would have the liberty to choose his own assistants, former Zimbabwe captain Peter Ndlovu will be part of the backroom staff by virtue of his position as the national Under-23 coach.
"The Zimbabwe Football Association board resolved on Thursday 22nd November 2012, to appoint an interim technical structure for the senior national men's team.
"The interim technical structure will be tasked with the rebuilding of the senior national men's team following the dismantling of the Warriors after the failed 2013 African Cup of Nations Campaign. The interim technical structure will be headed by the current technical advisor of the association, Mr Klaus Pagels who was seconded to the Zimbabwe Football Association in 2011 by the Germany Olympic Committee.
"Mr Pagels will be tasked with recommending to the Zifa board the following:
Appointment of his assistant coaches, goalkeepers trainer, team manager, fitness trainer and kit man
Drawing up a training programme for the new look senior national men's team
Carrying out surveillance missions on players plying their trade in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Europe and Asia
Drawing up a programme for friendly matches
Drawing up targets for the Team
Drawing up a shopping list for the provisional squad
Preparations for the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers
"The Zimbabwe Football Association settled for the German coach, given the existing government-to-government co-operation which would see the Association engaging a highly qualified coach in the shortest possible time-frame.
"The Association will, however, continue on a hunt for a highly qualified coach who should take charge of the senior national men's future campaigns in the long-term. A local coach with unquestionable potential and enthusiasm shall be recommended to work with Mr Klaus Pagels as part of the association's capacity building and succession plan. The new technical team shall be unveiled at a special function set for mid-December 2012, whereupon the new technical team shall assume duty," said Mashingaidze.
The Zifa chief executive said they had turned down an invitation to play Swaziland in a friendly match this weekend but would arrange some warm up matches for the Warriors in February, by which time they hope that Pagels would have put in place his squad.