When he was shown the exit door by Mapantsula on September 14th, many people thought that it was Paul’s end of the road as far as coaching in the Premier League is concerned. Their reasons were based on the fact in July; Paul was fired by Botswana Football Association (BFA) as the national Under-23 coach. This was after he made disturbing comments on national radio, something which did not augur well with his employers. After a storming start to his coaching job at Gunners which saw the Peleng giants’ record four straight wins from the beginning of the season, it was soon reported that he was not in good terms with his employers. Ultimately he was shown the door.
After almost a month on the sidelines, Paul was back in the dugout on Friday night when Chiefs hosted BDF XI in a beMOBILE Premier League match at the National Stadium; this time around as an assistant coach, reporting to Mike Sithole. While there are some doubting Thomases over Paul’s arrival, Chiefs believe they have found the right man.
“We’re not going to judge Paul basing on what we heard or read in the media. We believe that he is a capable young coach who deserves to be given a chance. Just like any other person he makes mistakes but we’re confident that he’ll succeed here. The good thing is that he understands the culture of this club having played here some years back,” said a delighted Chiefs’ spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi.
The flamboyant spokesperson added that Paul is equipped with lots of knowledge which will benefit the team in the future. “We want to blend the youth with the experience and Paul has experience when it comes to that. As an assistant we also expect him to take charge of our youth development because we’ve realised that there is need to have young players who will take the team forward,” he said.
When quizzed about how they are going to handle Paul considering his past record, Mogomotsi said that the assistant coach is aware of the terms and conditions of his appointment. Mogomotsi further dismissed the reports that Paul has been brought to take over from Sithole who is likely to be shown the door when the League breaks for the Festive season.
Contacted for comment, Paul said that he is fully focused on his job, “It didn’t take me long to agree to join Chiefs because they’re an ambitious club. I’m familiar with some of the (administrators) faces here because I’ve worked with them before as a player. I believe that they’ve seen something in me and I’m not going to let them down.”
On working with Sithole, the former Gunners’ coach responded, “he is a knowledgeable coach and I’m happy that he has welcomed me with open arms. People think that I’ve a problem with being an assistant but that’s not true because I can learn a lot from coaches like Sithole. He’s the boss and I’m going to take instructions from him at the same time building a strong team which will go out there and compete.”
Paul has been the head coach at Gunners, Naughty Boys, Killer Giants, Uniao Flamengo Santos and the now defunct BMC where he won the Coca-Cola Cup in 2007. He has also served as the assistant coach to Peter Butler at the senior national team.