Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA vice president Gift Banda says their decision to ring changes in the Warriors technical team was meant to provide head coach Sunday Chidzambwa with the right assistants to not only qualify for the next AFCON finals in Egypt but make a big impression there.
Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo were yesterday bundled out of the national team with ZIFA roping in new Under-23 coach Tonderai Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu in the set-up.
The news related to the changes broke out last week.
Banda revealed yesterday the decision was taken in line with ZIFA’s philosophy that the Young Warriors coach should sit on the senior national team bench as one of the assistant coaches.
Chidzambwa, who was appointed last year, will continue in his position and will now be assisted by Ndiraya and Mafu who both bounce back ahead of the crucial AFCON qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville in March.
“We are a new board and we are setting the new trajectory in which we would want to move as a new board,’’ said Banda.
“You will realise that it is always a norm that the Under-23 coach comes in to assist so that it becomes a conveyor belt of the players from the Under-23 to be promoted into the senior national team.
“That is the only reason why we had to rope Ndiraya in. Not that those who were in there had done anything wrong but the decision came after having realised that none of the assistant coaches were participating as coaches in the national Under-23 team.
“We come from a footballing background and we understand what we are talking about. We will never impose those coaches onto the head coach.
“I think you will know that the president (of ZIFA Felton Kamambo) had a meeting with Sunday Chidzambwa. We do things in a professional way.”
Brenna Msiska was retained as the goalkeepers’ coach.
Wellington Mpandare will remain the team manager while Nicholas Munyonga replaced Soman Mudariki as the team doctor.
Eddie Chivero and Robert Matoka have been appointed as the team liaison officer and head of security.
The new team’s immediate task is to assemble a team to play Congo at the National Sports Stadium on March 24 and get a positive result to qualify for the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt.
Appointments were also made for the national Under-23 team where Ndiraya replaced ZPC Kariba’s Godfrey Tamirepi.
He will be assisted by Mandla Mpofu and Lizwe Sweswe while Tembo Chuma is the goalkeepers’ coach.
On top of his role with the senior team, Chivero will also be the Under-23 team manager.
The Under-23 team also have two impending AFCON qualifiers away and at home to Mozambique during the March 18 — 26 FIFA international break.
The Under-23 AFCON act as a pathway to next year’s Olympic Games to be held in Japan.
“In my understanding, the assistant coaches were not running on any signed contract. The head coach was the only one who had a contract,’’ said Banda.
“Even the team manager didn’t have a contract before, it was an anomaly.
“We are going now to give these coaches contracts and it’s going to be between the employer and the employee.
“We want to move further to a situation where all our national teams coaches will not be attached to any club so that they can concentrate solely on the job of coaching the national teams.
“They can go around the world, looking at the players that they are going to be calling.’’
Zimbabwe Senior team
Head Coach: Sunday Chidzambwa
Assistant: Tonderai Ndiraya
Assistant: Bongani Mafu
Goalkeepers’ Coach: Brenna Msiska
Team Doctor: Nicholas Munyonga
Team Manager: Wellington Mpandare
Team Liaison Officer: Eddie Chivero
Head of Security: Robert Matoka
Zimbabwe Under-23 team
Head Coach: Tonderai Ndiraya
Assistant Coach: Lizwe Sweswe
Assistant Coach: Mandla Mpofu
Goalkeepers’ coach: Tembo Chuma
Team Manager: Eddie Chivero