My meagre apprenticeship salary was just enough for daily running costs of bread, milk, matemba and transport. Left over money would then buy books and pens. Initially, that coaching course was supposed to be held at Barbourfields Stadium by Reinhard Fabisch, Ben Moyo and Roy Barretto. The venue was then changed to Raylton Sports Club.
There were 2 classes, for us beginners and Level 2. The Level 2 class was taken by Fabisch and Moyo while Barretto did the Level 1. Fabisch’s class included Charles Mhlauri and Ephraim Moloi and Sobantu. At beginner level, there was former Chronicle Sports Reporter, Tito Asani (RIP), Morgan Dube, Pernell McKop, Bongani Mafu, Benjamin Moyo, Godfrey Tamirepi, Godfrey Paradza, Willard Khumalo, Riot Ncube (RIP), David Kadzutu, Blazio Mudekunye, Ernest Mpala and Surgery (RIP), just to mention a handful.
This was quite an extensive hands on experience that demanded a lot of hard running and execution on the field of play as well as theory studies that took a lot of sleepless nights. The classes would cover basic coaching session preparations, physical conditioning, technique training, tactical training, sports medicine and laws of the game.
The greatest thing to come out of these courses was a community of people who became slaves of the game in years to come. Loss of Tito Asani due a short illness was especially bad, because he was such a positive influence to many of us. Charles Mhlauri became a national team coach, Benjamin Moyo, Mashinkila Khumalo, Paradza, Tamirepi, McKop and Dube were part of great football teams and programmes as well as Mafu and Ncube who became part of the most successful Coaches Association financially and coach-training wise that was led by Barry Daka of which I was the Treasurer before I was instructor.
This group proceeded to do Levels 2 and 3 with a few drop-outs as we progressed in the years that followed. Those year were like high school years in terms of football. While theory examinations were extremely hard then, those without much academic background were accommodated in later versions to encourage those with a lot of playing experience and less reading and writing abilities, not that it was made easy for them, but there was a deliberate way to ensure even those outside would be encouraged to join these classes.
That is how I found myself refounding Railstars FC, coaching and managing the team, founding the famous KFA that produced Farai Mujokoro, being Technical Advisor of Highlanders FC as well and instructing coaches who went on to make history and are continuing to excel in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana. It started as a dream.
How do you think former players can be helped to help develop football in Africa?