Normally when the transfer window opens, it is the players that are in most cases given attention. Teams normally scramble for the players until the last moment of the window. Less consideration appears to be given to the coaches despite the fact that they are the ones who do all the dirty work for the team. This season, however, the scramble for coaches might even be uglier than before as most teams are looking for reinforcements. What is surprising is the fact that some of the teams that need coaches finished in reputable positions but are still hunting for replacement coaches. Even those that did not do well plan to shaken up their technical departments.
Information reaching The Sunday Standard indicates that the most wanted man is former Prisons XI coach, Stanley Mwaanga.
Mwaanga’s contract with Prisons XI came to an end at the end of the season and he is yet to renew it. Three teams, BDF XI, BMC and Uniao Flamengo Santos are reportedly knocking on Mwaanga’s door daily. The fact that his team, Prisons XI, was relegated does not seem to deter the teams because they believe he did not have the kind of good material he needed at Prisons XI.
His record at Ecco City Greens, after taking it from the second division up to the Premier League in three consecutive seasons, seems to be the main factor.
Most teams also credit him for turning ordinary players into forces to reckon with. Prisons XI, on the other hand, are also reported to be running around to retain his services and to bring the team back where it belongs. BDF XI are reportedly interested in his services because the incumbent coach, Stanley Tshosane, is reported to be overworked since his promotion last year and the management wants someone who would always be there for the team.
Meanwhile, BMC, who have always been reported planning to get rid of Kaizer Kalambo, had a fruitful season.
Finishing in fifth position is something some BMC management is not happy with, especially with so many stars in the team. A source in the BMC camp told The Sunday Standard that Kalambo was given a mandate to at least finish in second position, but they lost many valuable points towards the end of the season.
Santos, who are the dark horses for Mwaanga’s services, have not renewed the contract of Clever Hunda, to the surprise of many people. When Hunda took over, Santos were in an uncomfortable position and relegation woos were already starting to haunt them. Hunda turned things around after Major David Bright left and lifted the team to the middle of the table where they even had a chance to challenge for honours. It was evident last week that something was amiss at Santos when they lost to a second division outfit Mochudi Rovers in the lucrative Coca-Cola cup. Hunda was not on the bench but in his position was former Rollers defender, Keitumetse ‘Pio’ Paul.
When contacted by The Sunday Standard, Mwaanga said that with the exception of Notwane, no team has formally approached him. He said he only heard the reports in the streets and through the media.
“Notwane was the only team that approached me to coach them next season, but we never had concrete discussions.
But since they have already appointed their former coach, Paul Moyo, there is no way I can join them. Apart from that, no team has approached me for my services,” he said.
Mwaanga also did not rule out the possibility of rejoining Prisons XI. He said he is yet to meet the team management regarding his future and he will then take things from there.
Meanwhile, BDF XI coach Stanley Tshosane told The Sunday Standard that he was going nowhere and would be with the team next season. Thsosane said the only recruitment they were looking for was for the assistant coach, because currently they do not have one. He said his former assistant, Russia Chaba, has since retired from the army.
“Rumours will just be rumours. I can confirm to you that I am going nowhere and will be with this team for some time to come. We were only looking for the assistant after the retirement of Chaba, but now one of the qualified coaches, Louis Rasetshwane is coming back from Darfur in Sudan. Previously, there was a bit of work pressure but we sat down with the management and now things are okay,” he said.
Tshosane, who also once coached the senior national team, emphasised that there was a time when he wanted to resign, but the management convinced him to stay until there was someone from the army capable of to taking over.
In regard to players’ recruitment for the coming season, Tshosane said he is not in a hurry to make major signings because he believes he has enough material. He said the major problem he had at the team was the midfield, but since signing Patrice Motsepe things are now back to normal. Tshosane, however, said he would not sit on his laurels because there is a possibility that some teams might acquire the services of some of their players, and that would mean replacing them.
Efforts to solicit comment from both Santos and BMC at time of going to press were futile.