Joey Antipas set for Chicken Inn return “I can confirm that we have signed Ali. He is a good goalkeeper who I think can help us. We are now with him with all the hope that he will also improve,” said Chicken Inn head coach Joey Antipas. 

Sports Reporter

VETERAN football coach Joey “Mafero” Antipas looks set to bounce back at Chicken Inn next season amid revelations that the club is not happy with the team’s performance in the 2023 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League and Chibuku Super Cup.

The Gamecocks were under head coach Prince Matore and his assistant Farai Tawarechera with Antipas the technical advisor.

But following the temporary relief granted to Caf B coaching licence holders, Antipas can now sit on the Chicken Inn bench and it is hoped his return will breathe life in the 2015 champions.

The Zifa Normalisation Committee agreed with coaches that it is unfair to bar those without Caf A licences when courses for the qualification have not been conducted in the country for years now and hence the decision to suspend the requirement pending resumption of training.

A source privy to developments at Gamecocks told Zimpapers Sports that Matore and Tawarechera are set for departure.

Under the guidance of the duo in the 2023 season, Gamecocks managed to post 11 wins, 16 draws and seven defeats in the process amassing 49 points, 17 adrift from eventual league winners Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Antipas, who early this year was re-assigned to the position of technical director at the Simbisa Brands sponsored outfit, will be expected to make a comeback with his own backroom staff.

“The club is on the verge of parting ways with head coach Prince Matore and his assistant Farai Tawarechera. Nothing has been finalised yet. However, if that does happen Joey Antipas is set to bounce as the club’s head coach and he is set to bring his own assistants,” said the source.

Spirited efforts to get a comment from Chicken Inn secretary-general Tawengwa Hara drew a blank as he was engaged in a series of meetings.

“I don’t want to talk about anything that is football related. At the moment, I’m occupied. I will get back to you as soon as I’m done,” said Hara.

The former league champions elevated Matore to the position of head coach early this year.

Matore, a CAF A licence holder, has over the years worked closely with Antipas as his lieutenant. When Antipas joined Chicken Inn, he brought Matore as his assistant in 2014.

The pair was in charge of the Simbisa Brands-bankrolled side when the Gamecocks won their first ever league title in 2015, which saw them play in the prestigious 2016 CAF Champions League where they were booted out by eventual winners Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the preliminary round.

Antipas and Matore even left Chicken Inn together for South Africa’s AmaZulu in 2016 before returning to the Gamecocks at the beginning of 2018 after parting ways with Usuthu in 2017.

Tawarechera, a former Tsholotsho FC, Bulawayo Chiefs and Bulawayo City coach is also Caf A badge holder.

Antipas, an old-timer, who also won the league title with Motor Action in 2010 and also boasts of successful coaching stints with the senior national soccer team, is yet to acquire the Caf A licence.

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