Ricky Zililo in BULAWAYO
HOW Mine have parted ways with head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube who tendered his resignation yesterday morning after a string of poor results.
It seems last Saturday’s 1-2 defeat to FC Platinum was the final blow for the former Njube Sundowns, Chicken Inn and Quelaton coach.
“Philani Ncube has stepped down and in his absence Sheunesu Chaka will be in charge of the team starting with this weekend’s Chibuku Super Cup tie against Chicken Inn until a substantive coach has been appointed,” said How Mine vice chairman Alpha Matumbura.
Ncube took over at How Mine last season from Philani Mabhena, who had led the side to 24 points out of 18 matches.
After 19 rounds of matches, Ncube only managed to amass 23 points, something that exerted pressure on the 2009 Premiership Coach of the Year.
During his tenure, Ncube was in charge of 31 league games, 12 of which were played last season managing five wins, four draws and three defeats and in the process picking 19 points from a possible 33.
He then led How Mine to the Mbada Diamonds Cup final where they lost 0-3 to Highlanders, but still went on to represent Zimbabwe in the Caf Confederation Cup as Bosso were serving their ban from continental competitions.
Chikurupati fired warning shots in continental competition, mercilessly throbbing Chuoni FC of Zanzibar 4-0 in the first leg of the preliminary round and went on to thump visiting St Michel of Seychelles 5-1 in the first leg of the first round to set a date with Nigeria’s Bayelsa United.
The Nigerians knocked out How Mine in the second round.
When they returned home for the start of the Castle Lager Premiership, How Mine were counted among the title contenders after going for an unbeaten run of 10 games, having lost their opening two matches of the season. The miners last tasted victory on Week 11 when they beat Buffaloes 2-1 in Mutare, getting their goals from Benjamin Marere and Edmore “Digo” Muzanenhamo, followed by a goalless draw at home against FC Platinum, then a four-match losing streak to Triangle (away), Highlanders and back-to-back defeats to Black Rhinos.
They went on to play a goalless draw with Highlanders in the reverse fixture before losing at home to Triangle and away to FC Platinum.
Speaking from Harare, where he is attending a high level Caf A coaching course, Ncube said; “I had a great time at How Mine, but I believe that this is the time to step down.
“I have done my part and football is like a marathon, when you reach a certain stage you just have to pass on the baton.
“I did my best to guide the team to success and I feel proud for leading How Mine to a big final like Mbada Diamonds Cup during their first season and as I leave they are in the semi-finals of the NetOne OneWallet Sup8r Knock-out tournament.
“I realised that players were suffering because we were no longer winning and pressure began to pile up.
“I know that we were going to get it right sooner rather than later, but after some serious thought I saw wisdom in stepping down and let a new broom sweep the room.
“I wish the next coach, the team, management and supporters the best of luck in all the competitions.
“In football we meet to part and part to meet. For now I will take a break and recharge my batteries,” said Ncube.
Chaka will be in charge of the Chibuku Super Cup first round match against Chicken Inn at Mandava Stadium, Zvishavane, on Sunday. How Mine have been in talks with a number of coaches with Buffaloes’ gaffer Luke Masomere leading the race to take over the hot seat.
Mkhuphali Masuku and Lloyd Chitembwe have also been linked to the post.