Tembo’s eyes on Warriors

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Kaitano Tembo

BY KEVIN MAPASURE
FORMER Dynamos defender, Kaitano Tembo, who was recently sacked by SuperSport in South Africa, has his eyes only on the Warriors job and will not make a “step back” by taking up a job in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League.

Reports in South Africa have claimed that some local clubs have inquired about Tembo’s availability, since he was dismissed by Matsatsansa.

The 51-year-old is back job-hunting and was pipped to the Sekhukhune United coaching post by Owen da Gama.

A report by South Africa publication The Citizen quotes an unnamed source, who is “close to Tembo”, saying that the coach is not interested in coaching in the local topflight.

“The standard of the Premier Soccer League is very high and it would be taking a step back if Tembo goes to Zimbabwe. The only offer we might entertain is if the job is that of being the head coach of the Zimbabwean national team,” said the source close to Tembo’s camp.

The Warriors coaching job is currently vacant after Norman Mapeza’s contract expired at the end of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals that were played in Cameroon earlier this year.

However, the Warriors are unlikely to play any football this year as a result of the boardroom squabbles between Zifa and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) that have led Fifa to suspend Zimbabwe from international football.

The Warriors were included in the draw for the 2023 Afcon qualifiers, but everything depends on the SRC lifting the suspension of the Zifa board for Fifa to allow Zimbabwe back into the international arena.

Zimbabwe is in the same group as top seeds Morocco, South Africa and Liberia.

Mapeza has expressed willingness to continue with the Warriors job after he led the team to their first win at the Afcon finals in their last three appearances.

If Zifa is to invite applications for the post, Tembo, who also played for the Warriors in his career, is likely to be one of his rivals.

SuperSport decided to part ways with Tembo after a string of poor results as the giants struggled to mount a meaningful challenge at the top of the table.

They were sitting ninth on the log after 24 games, with Tembo having presided over eight wins and nine losses for their 31 points.

Tembo has served the club for 23 years, first as a player in 1999 before moving on to a coaching role, serving as assistant to Gavin Hunt, Stuart Baxter and Eric Tinkler and then eventually taking over as head coach in 2018.

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