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Date: 16 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Keshi, Gumbo, Barreto interested in Warriors job

[Posted 13 Aug 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Keshi has reportedly applied for the Warriors" vacant position

Former Mali and Togo coach Stephen Keshi appears to be the only candidate with the highest profile among the foreign coaches who are rumoured to have applied for the vacant position of Warriors coach. 

Keshi, a former Nigerian captain and defender, has apparently applied for the position through an agent. Benedict Moyo, ZIFA board member responsible for competitions recently confirmed the candidatures of Keshi as well as former Orlando Pirates and Highlanders coach Roy Barreto.

"There are at least three foreigners who have shown interest in the job and Keshi is one of them because there is someone who says he is his agent who has approached ZIFA over the Warriors job. Barreto has also applied," confirmed Moyo.

Keshi is a very experienced coach in terms of national team coaching in Africa. He took modest Togo to the 2006 World Cup with a young Emanuel Adebayor before he became the household name he has now become. Keshi was also the Mali coach when his team performed the heroics of coming from 0-4 down to draw 4-4 with hosts Angola at the 2010 AFCON finals.

Barreto has coached in South Africa for a long time now, having been championship winning coach of Orlando Pirates during the 2000-2001 season. He has also coached Highlanders and won some trophies with Bosso. Barreto was an assitant coach and then coach of the Warriors for brief spells.

The former Bosso coach has however been out of competitive football for a long time (since 2005 when he left Free State Stars). It will be be interesting if ZIFA is to choose someone who hasn't really been proven at national team level.

Multi-championship winning coach Rahman Gumbo has been linked with the Warriors post. In an interesting development, Newzimsituation reported on 12 August that ZIFA Technical director Nelson Matongerere had asked Gumbo to submit an application. No confirmation has been received from Matongerere himself or ZIFA about this.

Gumbo himself appears to be in the dark about the repoted ZIFA interest.

"It is only a rumour that ZIFA are interested in my services because nothing has been communicated to me officially. So I would not want to comment at this stage," he told Mmegi Sport.

Gumbo won the league championship with Township Rollers early this year, even though he surprisingly dumped the team for Mochudi Centre Chiefs for the 2010/2011 season. Before coaching in Botswana, Gumbo had won a couple of league titles with clubs in Malawi. Early in his coaching career, Gumbo won about two titles with Highlanders in Zimbabwe before his highly successful sorjourneys in Southern Africa.

The former Warriors midfielder has been a caretaker coach of the Warriors following Chidzambwa's resignation before the beginning of the 2006 AFCON qualifiers. He got fired from his position after he was accused of having failed to stamp his authority on the Warriors players who reportedly broke camp curfews on the eve of the match which the Zimbabwe eventually lost 0-3 to Nigeria at home.

Another candidate for the position is former Highlanders and Amazulu coach Cosmos 'Tsano' Zulu. Anyone is free to apply for a vacant position, but Zulu does not have any discernible experience at national team level. Zulu however, appears to have been unfortunate not to land long contracts with big clubs in Zimbabwe or in Botswana despite his potential as a coach.

Then there is Norman Mapeza, in whom the ZIFA board does not seem to have much confidence. Given the limited time period between the time of the advertisement and the beginning of the afcon qualifiers, many people expected that the obvious decision should have been to confirm Mapeza as Warriors coach.

ZIFA decided to make Mapeza a caretaker coach and advertised the position. If the rumour that Gumbo has been asked to apply for the pisition is true, then one wonders how that will leave Mapeza feeling. The former Warriors captain has demonstrated his ability as a coach by winning a maiden title for Monomotapa two seasons ago.

Now that the position has been advertised, and applicants like Keshi and Gumbo are in the mix, it is difficult to see Mapeza emerging as the substantive Warriors coach. Keshi, if ZIFA can afford him, appears to be the favourite to clinch the job.

Strong competition to Keshi for the Warriors' coaching position should come from  the multi-championship winning coach Gumbo. He has been carrying the nation's flag with distinction outside the country for a number of years now, and he has done so consistently.

There is no doubt that Gumbo is a fine coach. Whether he can rub his magical touch onto the Warriors given all the administrative challenges associated with ZIFA, is a big question. BUT, we can never know unless Gumbo is given a chance to prove himself, just like everyone else who has not been fully tried and tested.

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