Wednesday, September 28, 2022

BDF XI parts ways with Chikwanda

The 2014/15 beMOBILE coaches’ firing madness continues with BDF XI being the latest to part ways with their coach. The team announced today that they have parted ways with their Zambian coach Elijah Chikwanda. The Zambian coach, who had taken over from Letang Kgengwenyane, becomes the fifth coach to lose his job with just twelve games into the 2014/15 beMOBILE Premier League season played. Chikwanda’s sacking comes in the aftermath of the team’s 1 ÔÇô 0 defeat at the hands of Letlapeng this past Sunday.

The sacking of the former Nico United coach comes after a very slow start to the league by ‘Matebele.’ Of the twelve games they have played so far this season, the team has already lost five games, an equal number to the number of losses they suffered during the entire 2013/14 season. In what was an eventful season that culminated with the team losing the league on technicality after being docked six points, BDF had also conceded 14 goals during the entire league season. However, with just twelve games gone into this season, the team has already surpassed that number, having conceded sixteen goals.

According to the BDF XI Secretary General Isaac Letsholathebe, the decision to part ways with the coach came after amicable consultations between the two sides. “We as the executive committee of the team sat down with the coach and we agreed that we part ways. We did not fire him. We put it to him that we felt he had lost control of the dressing room and the confidence of his players, something which we believe made his position untenable,” Letsholathebe explained. While the decision to sack Chikwanda may come as a shock considering the team is only nine points behind log leaders Township Rollers and only four points behind second placed BMC, Letsholathebe said the team’s executive felt that they had let the situation run for a long time and felt the need to intervene before it could get any worse.

Information reaching The Telegraph Sport is that while the coach was only fired this week, the writing has long been on the wall, something which was confirmed by Letsholathebe. According to the BDF XI Secretary General, the team’s executive wrote the coach a letter as far back as the 11th of November informing him of their concern at what they considered unimpressive showing by the team. He said as this was considered an internal matter, it was not publicised in order to allow the coach to repair the situation but nothing changed. “When we lost to Gaborone United, we could have decided then to part ways with him but we felt that the international break could have contributed as we had players in the national team. The loss against Letlapeng however changed all this and it was only then that we decided it was better to go separate ways,” Letsholathebe conceded.

On whether the loss of quality players like Otlantshekela Mooketsi and Boitumelo Mafoko did not have a role to play in the current poor showing, the BDF XI Secretary General said the loss of the two could not have had such a big impact as they still have plenty of quality players, some of whom are members of the current national team. Meanwhile, Letsholathebe said the hunt is now on for a local coach to take over the reins at ‘Matebele.’ Until then, Letsholathebe said goalkeeper coach Joel Chonga will lead the team as an interim coach, assisted by Barney Marman. In the meantime, Letsholathebe said he expects a better showing when BDF XI’s hosts Police XI in their next league game which will be played at SSKB this coming Sunday.


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