New faces at Zim Warriors
The changes in the senior team’s coaching departments are part of the restructuring of the technical departments of all national teams’ technical set-ups.
Ndlovu and Misheck Chidzambwa came in as direct replacements for David Mandigora and Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo, who were removed from the Warriors’ coaching department two weeks ago.
The senior team’s technical department is completed by Emmanuel Nyahuma (goalkeepers’ trainer) and manager Ernest Sibanda, who both have been retained in their positions.
The new-look technical department’s first assignment will be a friendly international match against Namibia in Harare next Wednesday.
The move is expected to give Mhlauri a new lease of life after a run of poor results by the Warriors in recent matches, notably a defeat to Angola and Malawi in the Cosafa Castle Cup and 2008 African Cup of Nations qualifiers, respectively.
For former Zimbabwe youth international Ndlovu, it was yet another vote of confidence after he was appointed by the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) as coach of the Southern Region select squad for this year’s Unity Cup, only last week.
Misheck Chidzambwa, young brother to former senior national team coach Sunday Chidzambwa, was appointed to the new post by virtue of being Under-23 coach, which is seen as a link to the Warriors.
Mashinkila-Khumalo will now replace Monomotapa’s Friday Phiri as new Under-23 assistant coach.
The Under-23 and Under-20 technical departments were also changed.
Veteran Hwange coach Paul Moyo was appointed Under-20 mentor.
In another significant development, Zifa also announced a technical committee that will help not only the senior team but all national teams.
Sunday Chidzambwa, who took the Warriors to their first African Cup of Nations finals in 2004, could have made a return alongside other former mentors of the national team, Roy Barreto and Marc Duvillard, but he turned down the offer citing business commitments.
Former Warriors player Max Makanza Lunga, now based in Germany, Darryn T director Wieslaw Grabowski and former Zimbabwe international Norman Mapeza, were also appointed into the technical committee.
In a statement announcing the appointments, Zifa chairman Wellington Nyatanga said former Warriors and Highlanders coach Barreto would be required to assess Zimbabwean internationals based in South Africa while former Dynamos and Warriors striker Lunga would do a similar job on the Europe-based players.
Former Warriors captain and Mamelodi Sundowns striker Peter Ndlovu was also included in the Zifa technical committee that reports to the association’s vice-chairman Tendai Madzorera.
The other members of the technical committee which will be tasked with advising the board on the evaluations of all the national teams also include former referee Felix Tangawarima, Nelson Matongorere, Marc Duvillard and Mandigora.
“The national teams have also been restructured in accordance to the association’s four year vision leading to the World Cup 2010,” read part of Nyatanga’s statement.
The new look Warriors’ technical department’s immediate task is, however, to work towards the national team’s qualification for the 2008 African Cup of Nations finals in Ghana in 2008.
The spotlight however seemed to fall back on Sunday Chidzambwa, whose turning down of the post is seen as a move of a bitter man, after Zifa failed to fully appreciate his role in the 2004 Nations Cup finals in Tunisia by attempting to bring on board a technical advisor after the return of the team from duty.
They claimed that he had displayed serious shortcomings, which could have been rectified by a technical advisor.
However, the generality of the fans and many stakeholders seemed to agree that Chidzambwa had done reasonably well with the Warriors given that it was Zimbabwe’s debut appearance at the finals.
Zimbabwe lost to Egypt and Cameroon before beating Algeria in their final match of the group stage in the finals in Tunisia.
Sunday Chidzambwa also guided Dynamos to the African Champions League final in 1998.