New Coach for Zimbabwe’s Warriors to be Announced Soon

May 13, 2024
zimbabwe worriors | Report Focus News
zimbabwe worriors

HARARE — The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Normalisation Committee has announced that a new coach for the national team, the Warriors, will be appointed within the next two weeks. The newly appointed coach will have a challenging task ahead with only two weeks to prepare for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Lesotho in South Africa on June 7.

Following the match against Lesotho, the Warriors are set to face South Africa in another qualifying game on June 11. This tight schedule puts immediate pressure on the incoming coach to quickly strategize and mold the team.

Yvonne Mapika-Manwa, CEO of ZIFA, conveyed to The Sunday Mail that the selection process for the new coach is actively progressing. “The evaluation of the applicants is already underway, with a shortlist of the best-placed applicants set to be drawn up, from which the most suitable candidate for the post will be selected. We expect to complete the entire process in the next two weeks,” Mapika-Manwa explained.

The position has seen significant interest with 139 applications from non-Zimbabwean coaches and 12 from Zimbabweans. Notable foreign applicants include former Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito, African Cup of Nations winner Winfred Schaffer, and French coach Christopher Gamel. Zimbabwean candidates include ex-Liverpool goalkeeper and Warriors star Bruce Grobbelaar, along with Taurai Mangwiro and Saul Chaminuka.

However, some prominent Zimbabwean coaches like Sunday Chidzambwa, Joey Antipas, and Norman Mapeza did not apply, leaving the field open for new strategies and ideas.

Critics have expressed concerns over the delayed appointment process. Football analysts argue that the new coach will lack sufficient time to assess and understand the players’ strengths and weaknesses fully. Additionally, with foreign-based players needing to be invited three weeks before a match, the new coach will need to rely heavily on selections made by a technical committee led by ZIFA technical director Jethro Hunidzarira.

Zimbabwe is currently positioned in Group C of the 2026 CAF World Cup qualifiers, which includes South Africa, Benin, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Lesotho. After two rounds, Rwanda leads the group with four points, closely followed by South Africa. Nigeria, Lesotho, and Zimbabwe each have two points, while Benin sits at the bottom with one point.

With the upcoming matches and a new coach on the horizon, the Warriors are at a critical juncture that could define their path in the World Cup qualifiers. The football community eagerly awaits the announcement of the new coach, hoping for a revival in the team’s fortunes.