|Friday, 01 April 2011 22:11|
NATIONAL Under-20 mentor Taurai Mangwiro is upbeat about his upcoming coaching course in Germany and has described it as a life-time chance, which he believes could create opportunities for local coaches and enhance development programmes in the country.
Mangwiro who is also coach of 2008 Premiership champions Monomotapa is expected to leave this morning for Cologne in Germany for a course which will run from April 4-21.
It is the first time that the former Masvingo United coach, holder of a local Level 4 certificate, will be attending a coaching course in a European country.
Mangwiro, however, insisted that his selection by Zifa to attend the course would not only empower him but would have huge benefits for junior football particularly the Under-20 side.
The youthful coach who played for Dynamos before venturing into coaching yesterday spoke about his optimism ahead of the course and lauded Zifa for also making arrangements to send Warriors mentor Norman Mapeza for another course in the same country between June and September.
"I am sure it will be a great experience, it's something that comes once in a lifetime and I hope I will interact with people from different corners of the world and can share notes and experiences.
"It (the course) is not just for me but for the youth in this country, it is about sharing your knowledge which is important and when I return I would like to go into the different regions and work with the youth there.
"Football has become more scientific and the more we are kept abreast of developments and new trends the better it is for our football and the onus should be on us as coaches to decide what then suits us best with the kind of resources that we have which are often limited,'' Mangwiro said.
Mangwiro also spoke briefly about the course content which he felt was critical in the development of players.
"It's mainly to do with methodology . . . the Germans thrive a lot on physique and most of the things they do are centred on the condition of the players and of course the tactics.
"Our technical director Nelson Matongorere also attended a similar course in Germany some time ago and that is where he started. As coaches we need to be kept abreast with the modern trends in football and if we can only make sure that our coaches go such courses at regular intervals to would be better.
"It was encouraging to hear the Zifa president (Cuthbert Dube) talk about similar initiatives for the senior team coaches. Although this is my first time to go to Europe for a course, it is not the first time I have attended a course where we had a European instructor. When I was still playing I attended a course at Belvedere Teachers College on talent identification which was jointly organised by Fifa and the IOC and we had a Norwegian instructor''.
Although Mangwiro is happy to be enhancing his coaching CV, he is not amused at the domestic game's approach to junior football. Mangwiro said he was concerned that very little attention was being given to the junior national teams which are often hastily assembled whenever a friendly match or competition has arisen.
"It is worrisome . . . if you look at the way the Under-20 squad is assembled, it is always at short notice and there very little time to identify and get the best possible players and most our activity in a year has just been the Cosafa Under-20 tournament.
"At least this year we have the Metropolitan Cup in South Africa in April which is for Under-19s. I think we should have our own regional Under-20 tournament which we can use to identify talent before we go to the Cosafa competition. NASH and other junior leagues must also inform us if they have Under-20 competitions which they may have so that we can use that to identify talent. Even at the national Youth Games the junior coaches should be given an opportunity to watch the competition right from the start rather just the final where players but nervous and which might not be a true reflection of the talent we have in the country."
Mangwiro also paid tribute to Zifa's German technical adviser Klaus Dieter Pagels who facilitated for the course and former Warriors and Moroka Swallows midfielder Edzai Kasinauyo, who donated some sporting equipment for the coach's use during the course.
The Young Warriors mentor also urged Zifa to put in place measures that would guarantee that successful junior teams are kept intact until they graduate into the senior side.
"It is also gratifying to note that some of the junior players I worked with since I joined the Under-20 coaching department as an assistant to Methembe Ndlovu in 2007 have progressed in their careers. Players like Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat and Ovidy Karuru were in the team that won the 2007 Cosafa tournament . . . it was a very strong team which I felt should have been kept together. It is also a pity that football agents at times mislead some of the youngsters because of greediness and they end up wrong destinations which do not augur well for a player's development.
"Countries like Ghana, Cameroon and Nigeria always try to keep intact their best Under-20 or Under-23 teams and we have all seen the fruits. We used to have our junior teams playing in such local tournaments like Champions of Champions which gave players like Peter Ndlovu, Nesbert Saruchera, Cheche Billiat (late) and Vitalis Takawira a platform to compete and be known well before they even made with their clubs,'' Mangwiro said.
During his tour of national duty, Mangwiro will miss Monoz Premeirship assignments starting with this afternoon's clash against Highlanders at Rufaro but the coach expressed confidence that his assistants George Jojo and Nkululeko Dhlamini would hold first in his absence.