DEPARTING Highlanders’ coach Madinda Ndlovu has recommended that the club executive committee elevate one of his assistants, Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu, to the position of head coach for continuity’s sake.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Ndlovu resigned on Friday morning and is on his way to Gaborone United in Botswana. Club chairman, Kenneth Mhlophe, said Highlanders will be making announcements soon on the new technical structure.
The outgoing coach held his last Press conference on Saturday afternoon after taking charge of Highlanders, who played Division One side Indlovu Iyanyathela in a practice match ahead of their league match against Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium on Saturday.
“For me, if the club is going to have continuity in terms of the technical staff, it should keep the coaches that I have been working with to the end of the season and let them go with what we have been doing; goals will be achieved,” he said.
“I am saying so because I have done it in the past and I think it is doable again now. In the past, I brought in Rahman Gumbo to be my assistant. When I left, Rahman went on to achieve something that had not been achieved by Highlanders, winning the championship four times in a row. (Actually, Gumbo won the title twice, with Eddie May, who took over from him, winning another two in a row.) I recommended that Rahman takes over then. It is not different now, especially Lulu who I have been working with from the start of this project. I think he has grasped a lot of tactics, training methods to carry this project to the end.”
Ndlovu said it will only be logical to keep Mpofu and Bekithemba Ndlovu, who came in at the start of the season this year.
He said he had faith in the squad that he assembled and had developed for Highlanders who he thinks can go on to win the league title next season.
Ndlovu said, however, the project’s progress was derailed by the players’ industrial action in pre-season in January.
“The disturbances that happened in pre-season held the project slightly backwards in term of monitoring it the way I had desired. In this second year, we wanted to venture into the fundamentals of the game; administering formations and putting the aspects of philosophy into practice, which would have given us an identity of how we want to play as Highlanders. The third year was to put everything into completion so that we get into how we can achieve the final thing, which is winning the championship and becoming the cup kings again,” he said.
Ndlovu said he felt bad leaving Highlanders at this stage, but his departure was motivated by the Gaborone United’s offer, adding the dire economic situation in Zimbabwe had forced him out.