Ray Bande in MUTARE and Paul Mundandi in ZVISHAVANE
FORMER Young Warriors coach Rodwell Dhlakama says he is delighted to be finally back in the trenches of the Castle Lager Premiership.
He has been appointed technical manager at struggling side Chapungu.
“It is indeed an emotional return to Premiership football and, more importantly, being back in the same city that I started my coaching career.
“Gweru is like home to me and I am geared to working with all stakeholders so that we achieve great things for the club,” said Dhlakama.
He took the Young Warriors to the Under-17 Africa Youth Championships in Algeria (2009) as well as qualifying for the group stages in the African Championships League as the head coach of Monomotapa after eliminating giants such as ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire, Ajax Cape Town of South Africa and Simba FC of Tanzania.
He was also successful in Swaziland.
Dhlakama became the latest beneficiary of the FIFA Club Licensing regulations currently being enforced by ZIFA after he was appointed Chapungu technical manager.
The system stipulates that a top flight-league league outfit has to have two Caf A Coaching Licence holders on their technical bench.
Until his recent appointment at Chapungu, Dhlakama was head coach at airmen Blue Swallows who made an impressive start in the ZIFA Northern Region Division One League, amassing nine points from five matches and are just four behind pacesetters Herentals.
With head coach Tendai Chikuni in charge in the opening four assignments, in which the Chapungu only has a single point to show for their efforts, the Gweru side were under pressure not only because of the poor results, but also to make an addition of qualified personnel to their technical department.
Chapungu chairman Hillary Jona confirmed the appointment of the former Monomotapa gaffer.
“Yes, I can confirm that Rodwell Dhlakama is now the technical manager for Chapungu.
“The appointment of Dhlakama was made recently and it really does not change anything apart from the fact that it is just an addition to the existing members of the team’s technical department.
“As for Dhlakama, he has always been part of us since the start of the year.
“I am sure you are aware that he has been with Blue Swallows, who are also part of the air force hence we just thought we could bring him in as a way of conforming with the demands of the FIFA Club Licensing regulations being enforced by ZIFA,” said the Chapungu chairman.
Chikuni said he was still in charge of the airmen.
“I am still in charge of Chapungu and I will be with the institution for three years.
“I am still the head coach of Chapungu. I have been working alone without an assistant and the executive saw it fit that they engage someone to assist me on the bench,” said Chikuni.
Chapungu United public relations officer, Tawanda Zowa, also explained the changes.
“Chikuni is still our head coach. We have, however, appointed Rodwell Dlakhama as our technical manager and he will be there to work with Chikuni.
“Chapungu has been playing so well, but we were just unlucky so we felt our coach needed assistance.
“We never fired him as was being said in some sections of the media.
“We hope the two are going to bring positive results to our team and so far we are waiting to get the scalp of Yadah on Wednesday.’’