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Date: 12 December 2018

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Muhlauri deal close to completion?

[Posted 14 Jan 2011]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Is Muhlauri closer to returning as Zimbabwe Warriors" coach?

Former Warriors coach Charles Muhlauri who is now based in the United States, has been linked with the vacant Zimbabwe senior soccer national team post in the past two months. It has since emerged that the deal to pave way for Muhlauri's return is now imminent.

Reports from Harare indicate that the Zimbabwe Football Association has been working secretly behind the scenes to finalise the deal with the Zimbabwe-born coach whose CV is decorated with great domestic and international achievements.

Among his achievements are the two championships he delivered for CAPS United in 2004 and 2005, the COSAFA Castle Cup with only home-based players as well as Zimbabwe's second qualification for the AFCON finals in Egypt in 2006.

While in Egypt, Muhlauri guided the Warriors to a famous 2-1 victory over the Black Stars of Ghana, a result which brought Zimbabwe to within a goal of a quarter-final berth at the AFCON finals.

ZIFA has delegated the task to choose the next Warriors' coach to the board's top brass, made up of the President, Cuthbert Dube, and his two deputies Kenny Marange and Ndumiso Gumede.

After the failure of the previous task team led by Bennedict Moyo to deliver a coach, the presidium has now taken over the task.

Acting ZIFA CEO Jonathan Mashingaidze has revealed that the ZIFA top brass is at an advanced stage in finalising the Muhlauri deal, and hinted that Muhlauri could be unveiled as the new coach before the nation's participation at the Championship of Nations finals in Sudan in February.

“I can confirm that the presidium has been in constant communication over the matter (hiring of Mhlauri) given that we are racing against time to have the coach down in the country.

“We have made significant strides in terms of having the coach in the country. The incumbent should be in a position to join the Chan squad just before they leave for Sudan and start having an appreciation of the situation in our camp," Mashingaidze told the Herald Sports.

The Zifa CEO further hinted that what is left is to tie the loose ends of the deal.

“Once the presidium have finalised on the house-keeping issues pertaining to the upkeep of the coach, they will meet with other board members to get their ratification on the matter and also ensure they read from the same page and set the date for the incumbent to be unveiled

“The incumbent once in place will need to be resourced ahead of the Chan and the Afcon tournaments that is resourcing him as the mentor and resourcing his team.

“He will also be asked to produce his programme in terms of player call-up as you know our players are scattered all over," Mashingaidze added.

Sources close to the deal have revealed that the loose ends to the deal revolve around the matters of job security for the coach. The coach has asked Zifa to make an advance payment of a portion of the four year deal he will be offered, plus costs of relocating his family from the USA.  

Reading between the lines, it appears like Zifa are serious about engaging one of the most successful coaches in Zimbabwean soccer history.

Muhlauri has demonstrated that he is in a class of his own in the country through his love for continous development. He has remained alert to new trends in modern soccer. While he remains one of the country's most qualified coaches, he has continued to sharped his skills in the USA.

Expatriates coaches like Tom Saintfeit who was involved in Zifa's futile attempts to engage a foreign coach ahead of local coaches, do not possess the track record and football knowledge that local coaches like Muhlauri possess.

If Zifa are to succeed in re-engaging the services of Muhlauri, they will move from villain to hero status. As things stand, Zifa stand blamed for the stuttering showing of the Warriors in the Afcon qualifiers to date.

Zimbabwe dropped two points away in Liberia when winning all three points on offer appeared easier than drawing, yet the local media celebrated Norman Mapeza for returning with a 1-1 draw and a single point from Monrovia.

Zimbabwe then went into a home match against Cape Verde unde the stewardship of co-coaches Mapeza and current caretaker coach Madinda Ndlovu. Understandably the Warriors failed to play as a team and produced a disappointing 0-0 draw.

Dropping four points out of a possible six points has left the Warriors needing to win the away tie against Mali in Bamako at the end of March, a difficult feat to achieve.

Anything is possible, only if Zifa manage to put their act together and deliver a substantive coach on time and give him time to prepare the team well ahead of time.

Delivering a substantive coach will not prove to be the panacea of Zimbabwe's problems. The mother soccer body needs to arrange meaningful friendly matches with formidable opposition, preferrably from West Africa. 

  

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