Matongorere’s passion keeps HAPPY PEOPLE . . . Veteran football coaches’ instructor Nelson Matongorere (right) enjoys a lighter moment with CAPS United chief executive Charlie Jones in Harare recently. — Photo by Libertino.

Grace Chingoma-Senior Sports Reporter

HUMBLE and down-to-earth are two adjectives that can best describe veteran football coach educator, Nelson Matongorere.  

For over four decades he has helped shape many careers in local football and it appears he does not get the recognition he deserves.

Most of the local football coaches, some of whom have gone on to make their names in domestic and regional football leagues, can testify they passed through the hands of the FIFA and CAF instructor.

Matongorere is a man passionate about imparting the knowledge he acquired over the years. The 67-year-old instructor is still standing when it comes to training football coach education.

Despite leaving the ZIFA Technical Director’s post about 10 years ago, Matongorere is actively involved in a number of training and development programs.

He is heading the development programs in the ZIFA Northern Region Division for both men and women’s football teams.

He is also in the ZIFA Technical Development Committee as an expert coach working together with ZIFA Technical Director Wilson Mutekede

Matongorere is also the technical advisor at CAPS United, where he works with head coach Lloyd Chitembwe and his assistant Fungai Tostao Kwashi.

He has instructed some of the top coaches such as Callisto Pasuwa, Chitembwe and Norman Mapeza as well as women’s football coaches Sithetheliwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda, to mention only a few.

These coaches have hugely benefited from his massive experience attained over the years.

He wants to keep on training coaches until his wish of having qualified coaches at the kindergarten and junior primary level of budding footballers is achieved.

The veteran instructor says sober habits have sustained his passion and kept him focused.

“For me to get where I am, it is because I am a man of sober habits. I have never taken a sip of beer or smoked. I was raised well. My mother was strict,” he says.

Ever since he enrolled in his Level One coaching course in 1981, Matongorere never looked back.

He says this was the only time he paid to attend a coaching course. The rest was history.

“I have a passion for teaching and I am glad that I have managed to do it for the 40 years I have been involved in football. I have a teaching background and I am also a qualified engineer,” said Matongorere.

“When I started, I did my Level 1 in 1981 and it was the only course I paid for. Ben Koufie identified the potential in me, mentored me, and encouraged me to go to Brazil, Holland and other countries for courses that were sponsored. I never paid a dime for all the football knowledge that I acquired. 

“I usually came tops in these courses. During my instructing duties in the region, FIFA and CAF used to select me to represent other instructors for English-speaking countries,” said Matongorere.  

The veteran administrator is glad that most of the coaches he has trained over the years are doing well.

“Pasuwa came through these hands,” he said, showing his wrinkled pair of hands.

“He never attained his badges outside the country. The same for Chitembwe, and even Mapeza. It has taken me 40 years to be where I am. With the knowledge I got, I add a lot of value to technical development programs. I am a transparent person and I make things happen,” he said.

Matongorere is also passionate about women’s football and youth football.

“I helped in reviving women’s football when Leo Mugabe was the ZIFA chairman. He asked me to put systems and bring harmony into women’s football and I worked with the likes of Rosemary Mugadza, Kwinji 15 and Boys (Nomsa) Moyo. I reverted to Young Warriors after two and half years of working with the women.

During, his stint as the ZIFA technical director in 2011, he closely worked with then-ZIFA technical advisor Klaus Pagels to facilitate a training camp in Germany for the Mighty Warriors.

He is also involved in the women’s Northern Region School of Excellency project which is aiming to train and establish a wide selection database of the Under-17 and Under-20 players   

The former footballer began his coaching career at the defunct Chikwanha Rangers which was in Division 1 as a player-coach. He took over when the club coach Martin Gede resigned.

“I then decided to have coaching badges and my first job as a qualified coach was at Clan Transport Football Club. I was able to gain promotion with the club starting from Division and we would play a year in each region and gaining promotion. That project was very successful, and unearthed players such as Dumisani Mpofu. I coached various clubs like Lonrho and Banket. I also coached Under-17 and Under-23 national teams,” he said. 

Matongorere still has the passion to see more qualified coaches being produced in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, the country is currently not offering the CAF A License, which is the highest badge conducted locally.

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