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Benjani gets coaching job

Mwaruwari was picked after the club considered several candidates . He is developing his coaching skills under some of the top academy coaches at the club.

FORMER Warriors captain Benjani Mwaruwari has kick-started his journey towards a return to coaching after earning an opportunity to work with English Championship side Plymouth Argyle’s juniors.

Mwaruwari was picked after the club considered several candidates . He is developing his coaching skills under some of the top academy coaches at the club.

The former Warriors striker has already spent four months in the role where he has worked with Under 13s to 18s age groups.

Mwaruwari lasted less than six months in his first coaching job having been given a four-year contract by Ngezi Platinum Stars in 2022 to replace Rodwell Dhlakama.

Under his watch, Ngezi played 13 matches, won three, drew six and lost four, which saw the team slip out of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title matrix. This prompted club authorities to cut ties with the former Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers star.

After the failed stint, Mwaruwari returned to England to hone his skills in the grassroots.

Plymouth Argyle academy manager Phil Stokes told the club's website that they recruited Mwaruwari so that he can develop his coaching skills and hopefully, absorbed in the club structures.

“So Benjani started earlier this season as part of players to coaches scheme. It is an initiative of the Professional Footballers Association, the Premier League and the English Football League,” Stokes said.

“We were one of the six clubs chosen for the programme, then we went through interviews and Benjani was the successful candidate. We were delighted that Benjani is now on the grass working with our young players."

He said the former Portsmouth striker had already made a positive impact on their forwards.

“Benjani has played at the highest level in terms of the understanding and knowledge of the game in particular with the attacking players has added immense value, but as part of this scheme it is trying to help Benjani on his coaching journey really so it will not just be the attacking players that he will be taking. He will be taking sessions through the foundation stage which looks at the pre-academy all the way to the professional development phase. So, it is to help him on his journey.

 “He will have a development plan that will align with people around. So, it is to help him and he has observed the coaches we have in the academy and he has had an opportunity to deliver sessions. The aim will be to try and help him, hopefully in the years to come to be a member of staff and work with Plymouth Argyle. Hopefully it will help him become lead age group coach.”

Mwaruwari, who hopes that one day he can follow in the footsteps of former Bafana Bafana striker Bennie McCarthy who is strikers’ coach at Manchester United, is pleased with the opportunity to learn from Plymouth Argyle coaches.

“I enrolled in players to coaches scheme which looks after former players who are interested in coaching. So, I am here trying to improve my coaching skills. When you are playing sometimes you do not know what you are going to do after you stop. But when you keep watching the game and you have that love and passion you just want to be involved, so that is what happened to me,” he said.

The former Warriors striker is enjoying his time at Plymouth Argyle and has admitted that he has already learnt a lot in the short period.

“It has been great I have been here for four months with people around the coaches and players it has been so good. I have been working with the Under 18 strikers, they have been performing so well, hopefully I will give them something and they will give me something. I have been with all age groups from the Under 13s helping out some coaches here and it is a good feeling when you assist because I have been with good coaches and they have accepted me so well,” Mwaruwari said.

He wants to gain more experience particularly coaching academy players.

He has been doing his coaching and has the Uefa A Licence but wants to upgrade to the Pro Licence.

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