Kwinji 15 to replace Mugadza?

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ROSEMARY Mugadza has reportedly been axed as the Mighty Warriors coach with highly rated Young Mighty Warriors coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda set to be promoted to the senior post.

BY HENRY MHARA

Zifa yesterday dismissed the reports as “nonsense,” maintaining that Mugadza is still the senior women football’s team coach.
A NewsDay Sport source, has however said Zifa made the resolution to sack Mugadza last week following the team’s poor showing in recent qualifiers.

The source said Kwinji 15, who is also assistant coach of Premiership side Tsholotsho FC, will soon be announced as the Mighty Warriors new coach and will be assisted by Black Rhinos Queens coach Weddington Chinyanganya.

This development, according to the source, is yet to be communicated to Mugadza and her technical team, most of whom are also affected.

“The decision was made at a meeting last week held at Cuthbert Dube’s house. They resolved to dissolve the current technical team and replace it with a new one that would be headed by Kwinji 15 and Chinyanganya is the assistant coach,” the source said.

“I understand (Charity) Munemo and the kit manager have been retained, but the rest including team doctor Margaret Maulana have been fired. The announcement would be made before the end of the month. It’s so sad they are using Mugadza as a pawn when we know that the problems with the national teams lie with these guys at Zifa.”

A member of Mugadza’s technical team said they are aware of the rumours that they have been kicked out but are yet to receive dismissal letters.

No comment could be obtained from Zifa Chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze or the association’s spokesperson Xolisani Gwesela but Zifa technical director Takaendesa Jongwe, one of the people responsible with the hiring of national team coaches, dismissed the rumours as nonsense.

“This is the first time I’m hearing that. As far as I’m concerned Rosemary Mugadza is still the Mighty Warriors coach and Sithethelelwe Sibanda remains the Under 20 and Under 23 coach, nothing has changed. Those reports are nonsense and the person who is spreading it just wants to be notorious for nothing. That person who is saying such things want to put the name of Zifa into disrepute for nothing,” Jongwe said.

Mugadza has been in the Mighty Warriors technical team since 2004 working as an assistant before she was elevated to head the department four years later. Under her stewardship, the team participated at the African Women Championships that year, the last time to do so.

They missed the five Championship finals that followed.

Mugadza‘s achievement is leading the team to Cosafa Women Championships glory in 2011, the same year they also qualified for the All Africa Games that were played in Mozambique.

The failure by the team to qualify for both last year’s African Women Championships and last month’s All Africa Games qualifiers at the hands of Zambia and Ghana respectively, could have triggered Zifa to wield the axe.

The Mighty Warriors have the Olympics qualifiers coming up shortly and Kwinji 15 is now expected to lead that campaign.

Kwinji is, however, is yet to convince if she is ready for the top job after her Young Mighty Warriors side were battered at the December African Union Sports Commission (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games that were held in Bulawayo.