Zifa revamp Warriors bench

LOCAL soccer-governing body Zifa yesterday announced a raft of changes to the Warriors technical set-up, with Tonderai Ndiraya and Bongani Mafu replacing Lloyd Mutasa and Rahman Gumbo as Warriors assistant coaches, as was first reported by NewsDay Sport last week.

BY KEVIN MAPASURE

Mafu is the new first assistant coach, while Ndiraya comes in as the second assistant coach.

Ndiraya will also take charge of the national Under-23 team, where he will be assisted by Mandla Mpofu and FC Platinum assistant coach Lizwe Sweswe.

Zifa vice-president Gift Banda yesterday announced the changes at a Press conference, insisting that the changes were only made to accommodate Under-23 coach Ndiraya in the senior set-up.

He said the new Zifa board, led by Felton Kamambo, had set itself to move in a different direction from the previous administration led by Philip Chiyangwa.

“As you know, we are a new board and we are setting the new trajectory which we want to move in. The Under-23 coach has to be part of the senior team so that there is smooth graduation of players into the senior team,” he said.

“We realised that none of the two assistants were in the junior structures and we needed to change that.”

Banda revealed that only Warriors head coach Sunday Chidzambga had a contract with Zifa, while the rest of the technical team were operating without contracts.

“The assistant coaches didn’t have any contracts. The head coach was the one who had a contract. Even the team manager didn’t have a contract, which is an anomaly that we are going to fix,” he said.

Banda said the changes would not have any negative impact on the senior national team’s chances of qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals that will be hosted in Egypt later this year.

Zimbabwe only need to avoid defeat in their match against Congo-Brazzaville in their last Afcon qualifier to be played at the National Sports Stadium in March.

“I don’t think the changes we have made will have a negative impact on our chances of qualifying. These are just minor changes. The head coach is still there,” Banda said.

“We needed the Under-23 coach to be part of the senior set-up so that players can easily be fused into the senior side from the Under-23s.”

Warriors team manager Wellington Mupandare has retained his post, while Nicholas Munyonga was rehired as the team medic to replace Somani Mudariki.

Brenna Msiska also survived in his post as goalkeepers’ coach for the Warriors, while Eddie Chivero and Maimba Mapuranga clinched posts as liaison and protocol officers, respectively.

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