11 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Sibanda New Young Sables Coach

HARARE Sports Club gaffer Nsikelelo "Sykes" Sibanda has been appointed as the new Young Sables head coach and will take over from Brighton Chivandire. Chivandire has been elevated to a lesser demanding role of the head of technical.

Former Sables coach Chivandire had been in charge of the Under-20 side for five years winning three Africa Cup titles and guiding his charges to as many appearances at the Junior World Rugby Trophy tournament where they however found the going tough with their best position being a seventh place finish.

Sibanda won the National Rugby League championship last year with Sports Club suffering just one defeat.

He however scooped all the XVs accolades as he also won the Challenge Cup.

Chivandire -- a former Sables coach -- fills in the head of technical post that was left vacant after the resignation of Rick Kershaw who is now committed to the shorter version of the game in the schools sevens.

Godwin "Jaws" Murambiwa also resigned from the Young Sables as assistant coach just before the Junior Africa Cup at Prince Edward School.

Young Sables committee chairman Aaron Jani yesterday confirmed the changes in the junior national team's set up.

Jani said the appointments are with immediate effect but they are still looking for assistant coaches with Sibanda free to recommend his preferred candidates.

"We have since appointed Sykes (Sibanda) as head coach and he will take up the post with immediate effect and he will make recommendations to the committee on his preferred assistant coaches," said Jani.

This is not the first time that Sibanda is taking charge of a national team as he was involved in the Under-21 set-up five years ago where he also assumed the role of head coach.

"He is the most experienced and qualified coach we could get and results at Sports Club last year speak for themselves as he won the league championship with the side.

"So we feel there is no one better to oversee the technical aspect of the game than him given the experience and exposure he has had at this level. We want to win so there is no better organisation than what we have got now."

Jani indicated that although Murambiwa resigned last year, the committee believes it is necessary that they continue to work with him even in an unofficial capacity.

"Chivandire is now the head of technical and will take over from Rick (Kershaw) who resigned after indicating that he had other commitments with the Sevens and also on personal grounds.

"Godwin (Murambiwa) despite resigning from the Under-20 technical committee will remain a very integral part of the team because he is the head coach of the Under-18 (Craven Week) side.

"And by virtue of him being in charge of the Under-18 side we need him as that is the feeder team to the Under-20 side and he knows more about the players and will help us in recruiting talent.

"Blessing Chiutare becomes the substantive manager," said Jani.

Harare Sports Club manager Chiutare was roped into the Young Sables technical team last year as assistant manager working with Colleen De Jong who, according to Jani, will resume fulltime administrative duties.

Jani -- who is also a former Sables winger - added that the new set-up will facilitate for continuity between and within the junior teams as this avoids a complete and sudden change.

"We did this in the view that we need continuity that is why Bright is now the head of technical as he has spent five years as head coach, basically starting the (JWRT) campaign."

The Young Sables committee is yet to meet with the technical team to map the way forward and plan on their Junior Africa Cup campaign whose dates are yet to be confirmed by the Confederation of African Rugby.

"But we will have a meeting with the committee before the end of the month to see what structure we can implement for the year, the venues of this year's competition have not yet been announced," Jani said.

Chivandire welcomed the changes, which reckoned were necessary to breed new ideas into the system.

"Change is good it brings fresh ideas. Both Chiutare and Sibanda have been involved at junior level before as they have worked well with the Under-21s. Chiutare was part of the Under-20 last year and he appreciates the way things are done. The coming in of Sibanda as head coach is good for Under-20 rugby as he is an experienced coach said Chivandire.

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