Almost seven years ago, Zambian gaffer Mike Sithole shattered the hearts of Mochudi Centre Chiefs supporters when he unexpectedly crossed the floor and joined Gaborone United (GU). Back then, both teams were engaged in a fierce battle for the Premier League title.
Although Chiefs were front-runners when Sithole left in December 2008, it was GU who lifted the title five months later. The pain of losing the League title left thousands of Chiefs supporters with a bitter pill to swallow. The then Chairman of Chiefs, Ernest Molome, vowed that Sithole would never be considered for a coaching position at the team as he had betrayed them.
However, five years later, Chiefs’ management smoked a peace pipe with Sithole and he was handed a two-year contract which expires in February 2016. Just six months ago, Sithole handed Chiefs their fourth League title in as many years. However, reports have surfaced that Chiefs are likely to lose their tactician who is rumoured to be joining forces with GU once again. A source who preferred anonymity said, “As it stands, the issue is still under wraps because he (Sithole) has a job to do at Chiefs, at least until December. As you may be aware his contract with Chiefs expires in February next year. Negotiations are at an advanced stage and he has already identified areas which need to be beefed up.”
It is also reported that GU’s executive committee is adamant that Sithole is the right man to bring back the title to the camp. The Reds were left without a coach after Rahman Gumbo resigned from his position early this month following a series of poor results. Currently, Serbian Dragojlo Stanojlovic is the interim coach, but reports indicate that the executive committee is not impressed with his performance.
On Friday, Sithole laughed off reports saying that every time his contract comes to an end he is linked with a number of clubs.
“People like creating stories especially when they know that my contract is about to finish. All I can assure is that I’m here until the contract ends. My bosses (at Chiefs) are aware that my contract is running out in a few months and they are not in a hurry to renew it. Our focus is on ensuring that the team gets the results in the remaining fixtures (before the festive),” said a cagey Sithole.
For his part, Chiefs’ spokesperson Clifford Mogomotsi said that his side will not be pressurised into negotiating a new contract with Sithole. He pointed out that both parties are aware of the situation and they will sit down when the time is right.
“We’re not worried about the reports (that he is joining Chiefs) because we’ve lost a number of coaches in the past including Dubula (Sithole). At the moment, he knows that he has a job to do and he’s aware of our expectations,” said Mogomotsi.
Another source revealed to Sunday Standard that Sithole opted to engage in talks with the Reds because he feels he is no longer wanted at Chiefs. The situation has not been helped by the recent arrival of Pio Paul as assistant coach.
“Paul is here to take over and Dubula is aware of that. He (Sithole) is a smart guy and he has started looking elsewhere,” said a source.
When contacted for comment, GU spokesperson Michael Mafuthe dismissed the reports as hearsay.