Zimbabwe: Nagoli Fears for Warriors

13 November 2019

FORMER Zimbabwe international midfielder, Kennedy Nagoli, says the interim set-up in the Warriors' technical team could backfire.

Interim head coach, Joey Antipas, and his assistants Lloyd Chitembwe and Tonderai Ndiraya will this week have to juggle between the Warriors and their Premiership clubs.

ZIFA have a special arrangement with Antipas and his Premiership club Chicken Inn to lead the team on an interim basis until the end of the year.

But Antipas today faces difficult choices to balance between travelling to Bindura for Chicken Inn's Castle Lager Premiership tie against Mushowani and the Warriors' preparations for Friday's AFCON qualifier against Botswana.

His assistants, Ndiraya and Chitembwe, are also expected to lead their teams Dynamos and Harare City in the midweek assignments.

Nagoli said the arrangement could compromise the output of service by the coaches at both ends.

He believes a national team coach must not be attached to any other club in order to concentrate on bringing the best results without any distractions.

"The coaches should not agree to such agreement. In a (proper) professional set-up, how on earth can you have two jobs at one time?

"The clubs are also to blame because when they give the coach a contract, what does the clauses say?

"I am not saying the coaches should refuse to help out with the national team when approached.

"But, it's always prudent to choose one when you have two equally important offers on the table," said Nagoli.

The DRC, who thrashed the Warriors 4-0 in their last AFCON match in Egypt, also had a similar set-up.

Florent Ibenge was the head coach of the DRC while also having his job as coach of Kinshasa giants AS Vita.

Madagascar, who went all the way to the quarter-finals at the 2019 Nations Cup finals, also had a similar arrangement.

Frenchman Nicolas Dupuis was in charge of the Indian Ocean islanders at the AFCON finals while also holding another job at French side FC Fleury 91.

In September, he extended his stay with Madagascar by another four years.

Antipas' Chicken Inn, who revived their chances in this year's title race with a controversial win over Triangle in a rescheduled game last weekend, take on Mushowani Stars in Trojan today.

Ndiraya will lead Dynamos to Chapungu this afternoon while Chitembwe's Harare City continue in the survival duels against newboys TelOne at Rufaro this afternoon.

"It's a pity, a person like Ndiraya has three jobs at once -- at Dynamos, national Under-23 and is also assistant coach in the senior national team," said Nagoli.

"How can one cope with all these without compromising one side? It's a burden. So these guys have to choose.

"Sometimes it's not all about enhancing your CV. You have one of the coaches, his team is actually fighting relegation. So why can't you excuse yourself?

"I have read somewhere that Chicken Inn wanted their coach to report for camp on Friday because they have a mid-week game and they are chasing the championship.

"So, it becomes a crisis."

The 46-year-old ex-footballer also said local coaches should aim higher in their careers. Nagoli feels Zimbabwean coaches have not done enough to make their presence felt in the region.

"A person like Norman Mapeza has gone for an acid test in South Africa. If Norman gets fired there and decides to come back and coach in Zimbabwe, it's a step backwards for him.

"He should now be chasing after international positions and national team jobs whether in Malawi, Ethiopia or anywhere else in the region.

"He is at a certain level and coming back to Zimbabwe is a step backwards. That's what Joey Antipas did. He went and coached AmaZulu in South Africa. He was not supposed to come back to Chicken Inn.

"I like what Callisto Pasuwa did. He is in Malawi and probably when he decides to come back home, he should be eyeing the national team position," said Nagoli.

Now retired from football, Nagoli had a very successful career as a footballer as his career first took him to Jomo Cosmos in South Africa before he became the first Zimbabwean to ply his trade in Brazil at one of that country's top clubs Santos. From Santos, Nagoli, an attacking midfielder with a cultured left foot, later found himself playing professional football in Greece and Cyprus where he featured for top clubs such as Aris Salonika, PAS Giannena, Enosis Neon Paralimni and AEK Larnaca.

With the Young Warriors, he played at the All-Africa Games in Egypt in 1991, when Zimbabwe came 4th overall.

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