Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Warriors midfielder, Tinashe Nengomasha, has made the short-list for the national team manager’s post.
He was among the first candidates who were interviewed by ZIFA last week in the ongoing series of evaluations taking place at the association.
ZIFA are seeking to rope in a competent team manager who will help the team when they get their preparations underway, for the upcoming AFCON qualifier against Algeria.
The post has been vacant, since last year, when the national association dissolved all the technical team positions.
The disbandment of the technical team followed the disappointing performance by the Warriors at the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt.
A number of candidates have expressed interest in the post and the short-listed individuals are going through interviews being conducted by ZIFA’s new human resources manager.
The association are in the process of recruiting office staff to complement the ones who work at their headquarters at 53 Livingstone Avenue in the capital.
They have started by recruiting the head of human resources as part of the makeover of their office compliment.
The restructuring exercise received the go-ahead from FIFA, who have since provided funding for the project.
But, before ZIFA recruit a number of personnel, they have moved in to have the national team post filled as quickly as possible.
Given the team manager is the one who engages the players who would have been called into camp and arranges their travel plans, it’s a very crucial position.
The team manager also has to engage with the clubs, especially those in foreign lands, for them to release the players who would have been chosen for national duty.
He also has to make sure that those who are being considered are eligible for the matches in question and are not under suspension.
The next round of the AFCON qualifiers, though, are a different test given FIFA have already made it clear that clubs in Europe cannot be forced to release players for the assignments.
The Warriors team manager’s job has attracted considerable interest from local and foreign-based candidates.
And, it has emerged that Nengomasha, the former Kaizer Chiefs skipper, is among the names who have been short-listed.
He has since been interviewed.
Others are still waiting for their turns to be assessed.
Nengomasha, arguably one of the best midfielders of his time, was part of the pioneer group of Warriors who featured at the 2004 AFCON finals.
At the age of 21, back then, he was listed as one of the three youngest players in the Zimbabwe team.
Only goalkeepers Ephraim Mazarura, who was listed as a 17-year-old, having been born on November 24, 1986, and Tapuwa Kapini (19), were listed as younger players.
Nengomasha established himself as one of the key players in that Warriors side, after impressing coach Sunday Chidzambwa.
He hung up his boots in 2016 at Mpumulanga Black Aces, putting an end to a fruitful adventure in South Africa which started in 2001 at the Amakhosi.
He is currently the Five-A-side Castle Ambassador for Zimbabwe.
Nengomasha was South Africa’s Footballer of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year in 2004.
He dominated that season with a blinding role at the Glamour Boys.
He also featured for the Warriors at the 2006 AFCON finals in Egypt.
Former Highlanders and Amazulu defender, Sikhumbuzo Ndebele, also made the short-list and was interviewed yesterday.
Ndebele is the Bulawayo City chief executive and has high-level FIFA qualifications.
Former Warriors manager, Wellington Mpandare, is also expected to be interviewed by the panel after he also made the short-list.
It is not clear how many people were short-listed by ZIFA although, according to standard practise, five people are usually short-listed for a post.
Also believed to be in the race is the 2006 Soccer Star of the Year Clement Matawu, who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Sport Science and Coaching.
United States-based former Warriors star Vitalis Takawira’s name has been thrown into the fray.
Takawira was a member of the Dream Team under German coach Reinhard Fabisch.
Former Warriors striker Agent “Ajira” Sawu was also offered the job but has now been moved to the junior national sides.
ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, refused to comment on the interview process.
Meanwhile, Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic is expected to return early next week from Croatia where he has been holed up since football was halted in the country.
He is expected to return in time for the national team friendly match against Malawi in Blantyre on October 11.
The Warriors will take on the Flames as they seek to prepare for the crunch AFCON tie against Algeria.
The squad for the Malawi friendly will be announced on Friday.
The Croatian has been following the performance of some of the Europe-based Warriors, who have returned to action, from his home country.