The Herald (Harare)

5 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Mukamba Leaves for Bidvest Wits Tomorrow

THE latest change of coaches at Bidvest Wits will not have an effect on the negotiations for Denver Mukamba's intended move to the South Africa Premiership side. The Clever Boys announced yesterday that they were parting ways with coach Antonio Lopez Habas and replacing him with Clive Barker.

But, unlike the previous time when the deal collapsed because of the change in the technical department, Mukamba may not have to worry this time.

The DeMbare prodigy has twice impressed the Johannesburg side when invited for trials by the previous coaches Roger De Sa and Habas.

The player's manager, Gibson Mahachi, yesterday said Mukamba, who was a victim of a technical shake when he went for trials at the Johannesburg side in June last year, will not be affected as the club has shown keen interest in the 20-year-old.

Mahachi yesterday confirmed that the club has sent air tickets for the player to fly to Johannesburg tomorrow the medical tests that are expected to be conducted on Monday.

"I also hear that the club has changed coaches but I do not think that will have an effect. I understand Denver has impressed the club and to show their seriousness today we have received air tickets for the trip.

"So, Denver is scheduled to leave the country on Sunday (tomorrow) morning. He is supposed to go for medicals on Monday and then afterwards continue with the negotiations," said Mahachi.

Bidvest Wits yesterday confirmed that their contract with head coach Lopez had been terminated by mutual consent and that Barker was taking over.

Habas only joined the Clever Boys at the start of the season after the club had parted ways with Roger De Sa and chief executive, Jose Ferreira, told the club's website that the Spaniard was leaving due to personal reasons.

"Antonio Lopez has requested that, due to personal and private reasons, he be released from his contract, due to expire at the end of the season.

"We have acceded to his request and we are in the process of finalising the necessary paperwork in this regard.

"Antonio Lopez has been an exemplary professional and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours," said Ferreira.

If Mukamba passes the medical, he will now have to work under Barker who has been tasked to lead the side until the end of the current season.

Barker will be assisted by former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper, Andre Arendse, who will be acting in this role together with his existing duties as goalkeeper coach.

"Clive Barker is one of the most experienced coaches in South African football and we believe that in Clive we have a coach with the pedigree to come in at this stage of the season and help the club deliver on its objectives for the season" said Ferreira.

Wits, who are also home to Zimbabweans Thomas Sweswe and Tinashe Nengomasha, currently lie ninth on the log standings with 19 points from 16 games.

Mukamba, who was also reportedly being followed by other Supa Diski teams, has already expressed his joy at the imminent deal.

His departure is likely to leave a big hole in the DeMbare midfield as the 20-year old literally held the team together in their campaign for back-to-back League and Cup double success in the last two seasons.

The Glamour Boys have since omitted him from their final squad for the Champions League this year in anticipation of his move.

Mahachi said he was hopeful the talented midfielder, who was last season voted the Soccer Star of the Year, would be a good ambassador of Zimbabwean football in South Africa.

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