Bots team pins title hopes on Mangwiro

Tawurayi Mangwiro

Botswana Premier League side Orapa United are pinning their hopes on new coach Tawurayi Mangwiro to guide them to the elusive league title this season.

The former Masvingo United, Triangle and Harare City coach was unveiled by the ambitious club earlier this week after signing a two-year contract.

He becomes the fourth Zimbabwean coach in the Botswana topflight league to join Rahman Gumbo, Philani “Beefy” Ncube and Mandla Mpofu.

Orapa United are desperate to win the league title which has eluded them since the club's formation in 2012.

The closest they came in clinching the championship was in the 2014-15 season when they finished runners-up.

They won the Mascom Top 8 Cup twice in 2016 and 2020, which is the country’s premier cup competition.

They are targeting to win the biggest prize in local competitions this season, and believe Mangwiro is the right man to deliver them the title.

“Tawurayi Mangwiro is one of the most experienced coaches and he fitted the bill that Orapa United wants,” said Trust Nyambiya of TKT Sports Agency who brokered the deal.

“They are a side gunning for the championship and Mangwiro’s experience is going to come in handy.

“Also the Botswana League is growing in stature and becoming attractive to Zimbabwean coaches and players,” Nyambiya added.

Nyambiya is the same agent who facilitated Mpofu’s move to Botswana after he was shown the exit door at Highlanders.

Besides winning the Mascom Top 8 Cup finals twice, Orapa United’s other achievements include reaching the finals of the cup in 2018 as well as winning the FA Challenge Cup in the same year under another Zimbabwean coach, Bongani Mafu.

They participated in the Confederation of African Football (Caf) in 2017, but were eliminated in the preliminary stage.

Orapa United is also banking on Mangwiro’s experience having coached a number of league clubs in Zimbabwe including Caps United, Triangle, Masvingo United and Harare City last season.

He has also been involved with the senior men's national football team, and his last involvement being Warriors assistant coach at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

This will be his first job outside Zimbabwe.

A Caf A holder, the former Zifa technical director Mangwiro will be hoping to make instant impact at Orapa United who are fourth on the log standings with six points after three matches.

The club is home to three Zimbabwean players — namely Leeroy Mavunga, Kelvin Bingala and Tapiwa Nyamanjiva.

Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara

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