At the beginning of 2011-2012 be MOBILE Premier League season, Mochudi Centre Chiefs named former Zimbabwean international, Madinda Ndlovu, as their new gaffer on a two year contract. After three consecutive years finishing as runners-up, the executive committee of the club gave Ndlovu the mandate to win them the league. After achieving what he was tasked to do, it is said that the future of Ndlovu hangs in the balance as the management is not happy with him. Sunday Standard Journalist TSHEPO MOLWANE tracked down Ndlovu to understand what the problem could be.
Speculation about Madinda Ndlovu’s future started in March even though his side lost once in league matches.
While his future has been kept a secret with the club’s management, especially spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi having dismissed it, the rumours intensified when Chiefs lost to ECCO City Greens in the Mascom Top 8 semi-final last month.
Those close to the club hinted to Sunday Standard that the management would have considered to keep him for next season had it saved face by winning the Coca-Cola Cup. That last hurdle failed as Ndlovu and his team lost on 4-2 post-match penalties to Gaborone United (GU) at UB Stadium last Sunday.
“He (Madinda) was never told to win everything on offer. His main task was the league but with Top 8 coming late, the management became over ambitious and thought that they can land it. It’s unfortunate for Madinda but the man has won what he was brought here for in the beginning,” said a source.
At the present moment, nothing concrete has been communicated to Ndlovu regarding his future. While none from the Chiefs’ executive committee has come out in recent times to clear the mystery around Ndlovu’s future, the Zimbabwean gaffer relaxes at home waiting for the next move. It is reported that if Chiefs decide to fire Ndlovu, they will have to part ways with huge sums of money as a settlement for the remaining months of his contract. Getting Ndlovu to have an interview is not something easy because he believes that this is the time for him to take a rest and plan for the next season.
When he sits down to discuss his future, he seems unworried about the rumours circulating. On a chilly Wednesday morning in Gaborone, Ndlovu is full of smiles and extends greetings to everyone who recognizes him. Afterall he is the title-winning coach, something which has eluded other coaches who came before him at Magosi in the past three years.
“I’m not worried about what has been written about me in the newspapers or said in the radio. That is why I’ve not bothered to comment because I know when I came here I signed a two year contract which the club has to fulfill. If Mochudi Centre Chiefs are not happy with me, they’ll tell me and pay me out of contract. I’ve done what I’ve been mandated to do when I came here (winning the league) then what happens after this it’s all up to the executive committee,” said Ndlovu.
Despite some of the challenges he has faced off the field, Ndlovu said he has enjoyed his first season at Magosi. In 39 competitive games his side has played this season, Chiefs have registered 27 wins, drew eight and lost four. According to Ndlovu this is a beautiful record which his side can build on in the coming season.
“As an ambitious coach, I would like to continue with Chiefs next season. I would like to take the team into the Champions League and test it against the best in the continent. It’s up to the management to take Chiefs into Africa, yes, but I believe that if you’re the best, you have to compete with the best,” said Ndlovu.
Ahead of the be MOBILE Premier League awards at Boipuso Hall last month, it was a foregone conclusion from some commentators that Ndlovu would be crowned Coach of the Season having guided his side to the league title. It turned otherwise when the award went to BMC gaffer Daniel ‘Chicco’ Nare who finished second on the log 20 points less than Ndlovu’s Chiefs. To some people, it was a shocking decision.
Ndlovu avoided the media who wanted to know his feelings about the judges’ decision.
“It’s not that I’ve been avoiding the scribes. The fact that I did not win the award does not take away the title from me. I respect the committee which took the decision and I congratulated Chicco. There is nowhere it is prescribed the coach who wins the league automatically wins the award so I’m fine with it,” he said.