Coaches rarely get the recognition and acknowledgement of their efforts and knowledge until everybody has run out of superlatives to describe their beloved players. South Africa is one of the few countries who appreciate them and are doing are doing a very good job. Most of the coaches do not keep their jobs long enough to see their time. Sir Alex Furgerson, and to some extent, Arsene Wenger, will be remembered for ever for keeping the same job for decades. They did not start successful. They had developmental programmes they put through and they lived to see their results. I am not endorsing either coach, but the system of the English clubs they work for.
Highlanders Football Club has an intelligent group of abadala, (elders) with whom I enjoyed great support. They gave me a lot of advice and they understand the game well, but they can not make daily decisions for the executive. During my stay at Bosso in 2001, I had cordial personal relationships with Head Coach Rahman Gumbo, Assistant Coach Willard Khumalo, Manager Ernest Maphepha Sibanda, Medic Emmert Ndlovu and the Executive headed by Mangwana-Tshuma (RIP), the late. Professionally, there was a big rift. Rahman Gumbo had requested my presence for a very good reason because we understood each other very well. We had been in the same football class, though different ends of the desk. I think the committee, besides footballing reasons, expected me to perform another role I am still not sure till now.
As Technical Advisor, whose role was to set up structures and developmental and training programmes, I was not answerable for results. Rahman was. He had final decisions from training to match day, he had lee-way to excercise his judgement as he saw fit. I gave the Head Coach and Executive all information about the intentions of the following games and training programmes as well as the previous game statistics as per contract. I went to watch teams play and “spied” as much as I could. I had 2 dear and personal large and small coaching magnetic boards, a voice recorder and was lining up for a small yet powerful camera. My part of the deal was met dilligently. I made a proposal of a Junior team to play in a Division 1 or 2 league rather than junior leagues. This was because Honour Gombani, Gilbert Banda, Mkhokheli Dube and other youngsters coming up, were too good for their peers but with Itayi Kapini, Thulani Ncube, Melody Wafawanaka, Siza Khoza, Charles Chilufya, Eddie Dube and others in their prime, it dwarfed their ambitions and efforts to excel. League football would make them ripe for the first team. At that moment, the feeling was, there can’t be two Bossos. Understandable!
Things were lining up good. We beat AmaZulu at Luveve 4-2 coming from 0-2 at half, in one of Bosso’s best ever games. We had two trophies in the Cabinet, beating Dynamos within weeks on both Cup finals. In Tanzania, we had played a good game and got a 2-2 draw. Here, professionalism from the Executive and coaching department collapsed, and we lost to Young Africans at home. After a two league game losses against Green Buffaloes in Sakubva and Black Rhinos in Rufaro, Rahman and I were fired. Eddie May came to enjoy all the sweet of our sweat. Where is Eddie May now, but where, also is Rahman Gumbo? Where is Mantengwane? Aphi amaHighlander amahle?
Tshilamoya can only survive with money. Players and coaches have got to be paid, and paid well. Muzi Hadebe has been doing the dollar per month campaign. Are you going to heed his call? Highlanders needs you. You need Highlanders. That’s a little off topic. For the Technical part, there are fine people at Bosso, too numerous to mention, that need training and can be good coaches for Highlanders. Push them through the ranks by taking successfully local and regional courses so they can get accepted to international courses. It should not be just one person, but 4 or 5 people. They will come and do developmental work with young players. Have patience with them. They will produce results in years to come. For now, fire Fathi.