SUNDAY Chidzambwa finally returns to the local Castle Lager Premiership dugout for the first time in 16 years this Sunday when his new team ZPC Kariba engage Triangle at Gibbo Stadium.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
It has been a long road for Chidzambwa, a former Warriors coach, who quit Dynamos on September 5, 1999, after the Harare side was defeated 2-0 by Tunisia’s Espérance in the Caf Champions League at the National Sports Stadium.
Since then, he has served a match-fixing ban, only lifted two months ago, coached the Warriors to Cosafa Cup victory in 2009 before leaving for a stint with South African National First Division side Black Leopards in 2013.
After being cleared by Zifa, Chidzambwa has found comfort in the resort town, taking charge of a ZPC Kariba side that finished in second position in their debut season last year before they parted ways with Saul Chaminuka early into the 2015 season.
Chaminuka’s replacement, Obert Matava, did not last the distance and shed off the reins to Zimbabwe’s most successful coach two weeks ago when ZPC drew 1-1 with Dynamos at Nyamhunga Stadium.
So, 48 hours from now, Chidzambwa will get a feel of what has happened in his absence.
Gibbo was there during his time, but there was no Triangle, winners of the OneWallet Cup last season, in the Premiership then.
Triangle coach Kelvin Kaindu was still a striker for Highlanders, but this Sunday, he is the man aiming to spoil Chidzambwa’s return.
The formidable Lowveld-based side has been ruthless at Gibbo, harvesting an avalanche of goals and one can ask Hwange, Caps United, WhaWha and Chapungu of the pain they have suffered there.
Hwange set the tone for the Kaindu-coached side at Gibbo after they were beaten (5-2), Chapungu (3-0), Caps (4-0), Whawha (6-0).
But Kaindu, as always, remains a modest man.
“I have respect for ZPC Kariba. They have a formidable side that can trouble any team in the league and the team that will play good football will win on the day.
“We are working hard ahead of the match and we are hoping to be the better side on the day,” Kaindu told NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“And I also don’t think that the break is going to affect us. It allowed some of our players who were on injury to recover such as striker Antony Sakala and Cabby Kamhapa. So this means that we are going to widen our selection for our players,” he added.
However, Triangle have players who can give all opponents in the league all sorts of problems in the likes of strikers Richard Kawondera, Felix Kuswatuka and midfielders Lameck Nhamo and Pasca Manhanga.
The Lowveld-based side are lying on second position on the log standings with 24 points from 13 matches, five adrift of log leaders Chicken Inn who have played the same number of games.
On the other hand, ZPC lie in 10th position with just three wins from 10 matches.
They have drawn six times and lost four times to collect 15 points.
ZPC have scored 20 goals and conceded the same number.
Reigning Soccer Star of the Year Dennis Dauda is yet to come to the party this season, but Raphael Manuvire has been outstanding for the electricity men.