AFTER taking Monomotapa to a respectable top four finish in the Castle Lager Premiership, Biggie Zuze has been rewarded by being appointment as the team's substantive coach for next season.
Zuze took over as caretaker coach in August after the club parted ways with Taurai Mangwiro.
The former Dynamos midfielder's appointment follows Monomotapa's strategic workshop held in Vumba on Friday and Saturday.
Club chairman Joseph Mukoki said yesterday they have given Zuze the leeway to recommend his own assistants.
Before being thrown into the deep end, Zuze, who also guided Monoz to a Mbada Diamonds runners-up slot had been working as an assistant to Mangwiro in the technical team that also included goalkeepers' coach Nkululeko Dhlamini and manager Clayton Munemo.
Munemo has since been banished for 10 years from football over the Asiagate match-fixing scandal.
"We had a strategic retreat in Vumba and we looked at the past season mainly reviewing the technical team, the executive and the team itself.
"We did our SWOT analysis where we looked at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as Monomotapa.
"We looked at the technical team, the executive and the players.
"On the technical side, we resolved to confirm Zuze as the substantive coach," said Mukoki.
It appears Zuze managed to charm the hearts of the executive committee by reaching the Mbada Diamonds Cup final where they, however, lost 2-0 to Dynamos.
Zuze also became the only the coach in the just ended season to beat Highlanders twice (in the league and cup).
"He will submit the names of possible assistants who can fit into the Monomotapa culture.
"George Jojo, who had been helping will now revert to his role as development coach," Mukoki added.
Mukoko said his executive committee also needed to improve on their marketing and also enlarge their fan base.
Last week, Monomotapa, winners of the Premiership title in 2008, held trials for new players at Alex Sports Club with over 300 hopefuls trying their luck.
"The trials are not yet finished. Over 300 players came but I understand the number has been trimmed to 29.
"But these will be further pruned and I hope we should be signing less than 10 of them," he said.
And after earning a slot to play in the Caf Confederation Cup by virtue of being Mbada Diamonds Cup runners-up, Monoz had been hoping to return to continental football but their dream has turned into a nightmare as they cannot afford to meet the huge costs involved in such tournaments.
Monoz had been hoping to benefit from the US$150 000 subsidy that is given to Mbada Diamonds Cup winners despite being runners-up as was the case with Motor Action last year.
But the rules of the competition have since been altered with the diamond miners giving the subsidy to the winners as long as they are carrying the Zimbabwe flag in the Champions League or Confederation Cup.
"We are disappointed that we will not be playing in Africa because the rules of sponsorship had been changed. It had been our hope to get the assistance but only to be told that it's not the case.
"Well it's a reality check for us but it's also Zimbabwean football which has lost out because we have wasted the slot," said Mukoki.