Homela back at Saints

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Former Warriors coach Gibson Homela has responded to Zimbabwe Saints’ SOS after being appointed technical adviser as the club seeks to avoid relegation from the Castle Lager Premiership.

Chikwata are in danger of getting the chop. They are bottom of the log-standings with seven matches remaining in the league.

They face a bruised Chicken Inn at White City Stadium at the weekend in a Bulawayo derby.

Saints secretary-general Caleb Sengu on Tuesday told NewsDay Sport the club had engaged Homela on an advisory capacity with head coach, former son Ephraim Chawanda, resuming duty on Wednesday.

“We have roped in Homela as technical advisor to the coaches. The head coach (Chawanda) has not been feeling well, but I just spoke to him and he will be coming in today (Tuesday) and will probably be starting duty tomorrow (Wednesday). But the boys are at training and ready for the weekend match against Chicken Inn on Sunday,” Sengu said.

Homela, a life member at the club, confirmed the development and said he would be coming in on an advisory capacity unpaid.

“Yes, I must assist. I said I would not mind. The role is as technical adviser. I will not have the final say, but the coaches will as they are already in the system. What it means is I can sit down with the coaches and plan. With the position that we are in at the moment, we can then have a crash course, or Caesarean Section if ever there is a term like that in football. But this is just voluntary,” Homela said.

Chikwata held an urgent meeting last Monday and tasked members of the executive to approach the club’s former players to motivate the team (including previous star, former Zifa technical adviser who could assist) in an effort to avoid relegation.

This followed a 4-0 hiding at the hands of Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium in a league match that plunged Chikwata to the bottom of the log-standings.

Chikwata, however are on cloud nine following their progress in the $1 million Mbada Diamonds Cup after bundling out bitter rivals Highlanders 6-5 in the first round of the tournament in a penalty shootout on Saturday at the Colliery.

Chicken Inn lost 3-1 to struggling Kiglon Bird at Mucheke Stadium in the preliminary stage of the league’s richest tournament this year.

The weekend derby at White City Stadium promises to be an explosive encounter. After Chicken Inn, Zimbabwe Saints travel to Harare for a date with 10th-placed Monomotapa who are eight points ahead of them, before entertaining tricky Blue Ribbon at White City Stadium.

Chikwata then take on Masvingo United away, Black Mambas at home before making a trip to Harare to equally troubled Kiglon.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures

Saturday: Caps United v Motor Action (National Sports Stadium), Blue Ribbon v FC Platinum (Rufaro Stadium), Black Mambas v Highlanders (Morris Depot), Gunners v Masvingo United (Larfarge), Shooting Stars v Hwange

Sunday: Zimbabwe Saints v Chicken Inn (White City Stadium), Shabanie Mine v Kiglon (Maglas), Dynamos v Monomotapa (Rufaro Stadium)