The Notwane executive committee slapped their Zimbabwean coach, Tonderai Marume, with an indefinite leave following a series of poor results. His last straw came on May Day when his side was hammered 3-0 by log leaders Mochudi Centre Chiefs at SSKB Stadium in Mogoditshane.
The defeat left Notwane on the brink of relegation but the management had to move swiftly to save the situation. Assistant coach Oupa Kowa has been appointed the interim coach until the end of the season and he will be assisted by Stephen Phetlhe. Kowa was in charge when his side travelled to Extension Gunners in Lobatse yesterday afternoon.
Marume joined Notwane at the beginning of the year but he has failed to win the hearts of Notwane fans. Earlier this year, Marume shocked many people when he told the supporters to ‘back-off’ after they questioned his tactics at the end of a league encounter against ECCO City Greens at the SSKB Stadium. Notwane ended on the losing side.
When confirming Marume’s suspension from the club’s activities, Notwane media communications officer Boipelo Seleke said, “Management is aware of the effects that this decision may have on the team.
The team may positively benefit with increased and improved performance or be negatively affected by changing the dynamics of coaching team. However, the management is confident that Mr Kowa having been part of the existing team along with his assistants and having an extensive coaching experience will manage the change accordingly.”
Those close to Notwane camp say that Marume’s suspension has long been coming as he did not have healthy relationship with his assistants. It is reported that Marume did not respect the input of his assistants though they have the knowledge of the local game. It is his stubbornness which has surely led to the management putting him aside until the end of the season.
“He (Marume) has failed the team and we erred in believing that he is the right man to take the club forward. He lost control of the dressing room and his relationship with his assistants also left a lot to be desired. I can assure you that he will never return to the team’s bench though we’ve said that he is suspended. I’ve no doubt that Kowa with the assistance of Phetlhe would take the team out of the current mess,” said a member of Notwane committee who did not want to be named.
This publication understands that Marume’s behaviour off the field also contributed to his suspension. Marume has been driving the club’s car which was broken into last month. Though the Zimbabwean tactician claims that it was broken into whilst he was sleeping at his residence in Gaborone, some people within club disagree.
“Sometimes these coaches when they come here they forget that they’re role models. Their behaviour off the field is also important. If something bad happens off the field it taints the image of the team,” said a concerned official.