Darlington Dodo

Zimbabwe coaches fix eyes on the big prize

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THREE Zimbabwe-born coaches plying their trade in the MTN sponsored Premier League of Eswatini and National First Division eye a winning start to the 2018 /19 league season which gets underway on Friday night.

It can be confirmed that there will be at least four Zimbabwean coaches at the three different teams’ dugouts with former Bulawayo City gaffer Darlington Dodo making his Swazi soccer debut at Manzini Sundowns when they travel to Tambuti FC.

Tarisai Changara will be assisted by Zenzile Dolly Mpofu when Moneni Pirates takes on Mbabane Citizens on a weekend George Madira will be off the blocks with Piggs Peak Black Swallows with a home date against Seven Greens in the second tier.

Speaking soon after Wednesday evening’s training session, Dodo said it was so important for his new paymasters to open the league campaign with a win.

“We have a new team full of potential and it will be so important to open the league campaign with a win. This will make it easier after three or four matches to believe in ourselves and probably go all the way and count ourselves in the race,” said Dodo.

Dodo inherited a Sundowns outfit that has lost three key players Justice Figureitto who joined Maritzburg United and Musa Mkhwananzi and Sandumuzi Zwane who joined local sides thus there will be a new look outfit.

Moneni Pirates have since roped in Zimbabwe-born mentor Changara as their new interim coach. The well-travelled ex-Mbabane Highlanders and Tambuti FC coach assumed his duties at the Sea Robbers’ last Tuesday afternoon alongside  fellow colleague and female mentor Mpofu.

Pirates had been without a coach since the unceremonious exit Harries “Madze” Bulunga about a month ago.

Pirates’ senior official Thamie Dlamini confirmed the developments.

“We have roped in Tarisai to assist the team in the absence of our head coach Bulunga, who is currently held up by personal commitments. Changara is preparing the team for the upcoming league campaign,” he said.

The former XI Men in Flight defender spent the previous season at National First Division side Tambankulu Callies and also had a brief stint with MTN Premier rookies Mbabane Citizens as an assistant coach to former coach Ikarbort Masocha.

Changara who once served as Pirates Development coach during the era of former Mananging Director December Mavimbela, said he was targeting at mounting a winning start.

“A winning start will set the tone for us and dictate how we perform this season. We have a group of new players who seem ready for the season and only time will tell how they acclimatise themselves throughout the season,” said Changara.

In Piggs Peak, Madira has been fine tuning his outfit as he targets promotion to the elite league.