9 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Zifa Keep Sunday, Axe His Assistants

ZIFA on Tuesday kept Sunday Chidzambwa on the Warriors bench but wielded the axe on his assistants Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo with the duo of Tonderai Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu being named as the replacements ahead of Zimbabwe's final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Congo Brazzaville at home in March.

The new changes were confirmed by Zifa vice-president Gift Banda, who also confirmed the duo will work with Chidzambwa.

Mafu will serve as Chidzambwa's first assistant coach while Ndiraya comes in as the second assistant coach.

The former Ngezi Platinum coach will also double as the national Under-23 coach where he will be assisted by Mandla Mpofu and FC Platinum assistant coach Lizwe Sweswe.

Banda said the changes were in line with the new Felton Kamambo-led board's vision to steer the local game in a different direction from that which was followed by the previous administration led by Philip Chiyangwa.

"As you know we are a new board; we are setting the new trajectory in which we want to move as a new board," Banda said.

"You realise that it's always a norm that the Under-23 coach comes in to assist the senior national team coach so that the team becomes a conveyer belt of the players that will be playing in the Under-23 to be promoted to the senior team.

"That is the only reason not that the guys who were in there have done anything wrong but it was after having realised that none of the two assistants were participating in the junior structures."

Banda also revealed that the dismissed duo of Mutasa and Gumbo did not have contracts with the local football mother body.

"The assistant coaches didn't have any signed contracts. The head coach was the one that had a contract even the team manager didn't have a contract which is an anomaly that we realised was wrong and we are going to give these coaches their contracts."

The Warriors face a defining match in their quest for back-to-back appearances at the Afcon finals when they host Congo-Brazzaville in March next year with any result, save for defeat, enough to book them a ticket to the showcase in Egypt.

Banda said he was confident the changes would not destabilise the team ahead of the match.

"I don't think this would destabilise because they are just minor changes the head coach is still there, the team manager is also there and the goalkeeper's coach. We only considered the assistant coach who is the Under -23 coach to come in and be part of the setup that is currently there so that all good players that are in the age group can easily be fused into the senior side."

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