BY HENRY MHARA
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has expressed sympathy for colleagues who lost their jobs this week.
Three Castle Lager Premier Soccer League clubs parted ways with their head coaches. In total 14 head coaches and assistant coaches have been fired by their clubs this season alone with patience seemingly running thin in the boardrooms.
This week Ngezi Platinum Stars fired Benjani Mwaruwari and Bongani Mafu on Monday before Black Rhinos followed suit two days later when they pulled the plug on Herbert Maruwa.
Tenax coach Shadreck Mugurasave, under pressure from his bosses, threw in the towel on Thursday.
“We always feel for each other when something like this happens,” Ndiraya said.
The former midfielder was himself on the brink of losing his job just two weeks ago, but a good run of results against FC Platinum and Chicken Inn gave him some breathing space.
Dynamos managed to pick a point against log leaders FC Platinum a fortnight ago before beating second placed Chicken Inn 3-0 last week.
A few weeks earlier, he looked like a dead man walking after he was put on suspension before he was reinstated.
He said it was sad that coaches are always made the scapegoats when a team is not performing well when it was not always their fault.
“If you look at the environment that we are working in, naturally you would want to have time. Time to build your team and at the same time you want maximum support from the management for you to succeed. But in most cases, we don’t get full support in terms of provision of resources to really do our job. Sometimes coaches do cover up some things which are supposed to be done by the other part. But in the end we are judged by results and sometimes people don’t know how those results come about. Sometimes it’s the coaches who sacrifice for those results so it’s hurts (when a coach is fired.).”
Mandla Mpofu (Highlanders), Philani Ncube (Bulawayo City) and Genesis Mangombe, at Yadah, are some of the coaches that have been dismissed by their clubs this season.
Mangombe was later recalled and his team is enjoying a good run of form.
Mpofu was dismissed together with his two assistants at Highlanders.
Bulawayo Chiefs also sacked their assistant coaches Farai Tawachera and Mark Mathe. Tawachera replaced Ncube at Bulawayo City as the coach merry go round continues in the topflight.
Rodwell Dhlakama was kicked out by Ngezi Platinum Stars and later replaced Godfrey Tamirepi, who was sacked by ZPC Kariba over poor results.
“There is no one who gets excited when another coach is fired, we feel for the coaches who have lost their jobs,” Ndiraya added.
“We just wish them well and hopefully they can quickly get back to it again. I feel for my colleagues and wish they can get comfort in that wherever they were, they did the best that they could and hopefully that was noticed and they can quickly get back to work.”
Mwaruwari was fired barely three months after joining the ambitious Mhondoro-Ngezi-based team.
He took charge of 13 matches, winning just three.
He was without victory in his last four matches, with the 1-0 defeat to Yadah on Saturday last week proving the last straw for the Warriors legend who had been given the mandate to win the league title.
He left the club on ninth position, lower than fifth when he took over.
Takesure Chiragwi, who was on Mwaruwari’s coaching staff, will once again be in charge of the team in his second interim stint this season alone, starting with a home clash against Triangle.
Rhinos decided to end their five-year marriage with Maruwa over what the club said was “unbecoming behaviour” by the coach during match days which was tainting the image of the club.
With 12 more rounds of matches to be played and with battles both at the top and at the bottom of the league heating up, more casualties could fall by the way side.
The riveting sack race in this otherwise gripping title and relegation battles is yet to run its full course.
- Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara