Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BULAWAYO City coach, Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu, will meet his paymasters to review their 2017 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season today.
Mpofu led City to a dramatic last day survival when his side clobbered relegated Bantu Rovers 5-0 to finish just a point above the drop zone with 39 points from 34 games. City went into the last day of the season occupying the last relegation slot.
The local authority bankrolled side managed to steer away from the murky waters, thanks to their emphatic win over Bantu Rovers. They also had ZPC Kariba to thank, as the power generators electrocuted coalminers Hwange 2-0 in Kariba.
Having survived relegation, City want to facilitate for a smooth start to the 2018 season.
“We’re having our review meeting with the technical team led by coach Mandla Mpofu on Tuesday. We will obviously look at the challenges that the team faced, how best we can avert them next season. It is our hope that we will have a productive meeting,” Jerry Sibanda, the City chairman, said yesterday.
Sibanda declined to comment on Mpofu’s future, saying they are focused on reviewing the season.
Mpofu will be underfire to defend his team’s unconvincing performances that almost cost the local authority bankrolled side their place in the topflight.
Part of Mpofu’s defence could be the fact that he joined the club after they had concluded most of their deals, with players and could not bring faces that he wanted. The better part of City’s pre-season was led by Try Ncube, who could not sit on the bench with Mpofu as he did not have the required Caf A coaching licence that Zifa demanded every PSL coach and assistants should have.
City brought on board Tavaka Gumbo to assist Mpofu, but still good fortune continued to elude them.
Towards the end of the season, they brought back Ncube to the first team as well as former Bantu Rovers’ coach Johannes Ngodzo.
Unconfirmed reports of interference by some City officials also emerged during the season.