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Mandla Mpofu

Mandla Mpofu

Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
A HOST of Castle Lager Premiership clubs are expected to start pre-season preparations next week with new technical teams.

Pre-season is usually a period spiced up by player transfers, rumours and speculation, but the movement of coaches seems to dominate the build-up to the 2018 season.

A number of names had been linked to the Highlanders’ job over the past few months, with their former coaches Amini Soma-Phiri, Rahman Gumbo, Madinda Ndlovu and Bekithemba Ndlovu all being mentioned.

The Bulawayo giants finally settled for Madinda Ndlovu, with former Bulawayo City gaffer Mandla Mpofu as his assistant.

After a long spell in Botswana where he coached Township Rollers, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Orapa, Madinda Ndlovu will be making a comeback to Bosso following his previous stint in 2009.

Bulawayo City also named Darlington Dodo, formerly with Tsholotsho, to head their dugout for the 2018 season after parting ways with Mpofu.

City finished the 2017 season just one place and one point above the relegation zone, and the club decided against continuing with Mpofu. Gumbo and Soma-Phiri had also been linked to the job.

The municipal side also roped in the services of former Chicken Inn goalkeepers’ coach Julius Ndlovu.

Bekithemba Ndlovu has been appointed How Mine head coach, replacing Kelvin Kaindu, who returned to his native Zambia following a tumultuous season.

How Mine faced financial problems last season that at times forced Kaindu to shed tears during interviews.

Herbert Maruwa dumped MTN National First Division title chasers Mbabane Citizens in Swaziland to join army side Black Rhinos as their new head coach.

Maruwa replaced former Rhinos star midfielder Stanford “Stix” M’tizwa. Another former Rhinos’ player Gift Kamuriwo is the new team manager, with Brighton Chandisaita coming in as physical trainer.

Chicken Inn, the 2015 league champions have parted ways with coach Rahman Gumbo and are expected to name a new technical set-up on Monday.

The Gamecocks finished the season in fourth place, 11 points behind champions FC Platinum, having been among the title favourites at the beginning of the 2017 season. The club hierarchy decided against renewing Gumbo’s contract, which expired in December. Their championship winning coach Joey

Antipas and his assistant Prince Matore are likely to make a sensational return to the Gamecocks.

Antipas masterminded the Gamecocks’ 2015 title triumph before leaving for the then South African National First Division side AmaZulu. The former Warriors’ assistant coach parted ways with the Durban-based side in June last year.

ZPC Kariba have settled for Godfrey Tamirepi as Sunday Chidzambwa’s replacement after a drama-filled 2017 season. Chidzambwa’s relationship with the ZPC Kariba executive crumbled mid-season and it was not surprising when he announced that he would not be returning to the side at the end of the season.

Tamirepi is not new to ZPC Kariba, having previously worked at the club as Saul Chaminuka’s assistant.

With former Warriors’ gaffer Calisto Pasuwa announcing his desire to return to club coaching, more twists remain in the offing ahead of the 2018 season. — @innocentskizoe