Highlanders close in on Madinda

Madinda Ndlovu

Madinda Ndlovu

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
SOCCER legend, Madinda “Khathazile” Ndlovu, is reportedly close to joining Bulawayo giants Highlanders as head coach, replacing Dutchman Erol Akbay whose contract expires at the end of the month.

According to sources, Ndlovu has been identified as the “best Highlanders son” that can bring back the glory days to Bosso, who have gone for 11 years without a league title.

The sources said Ndlovu’s manager Hosea George Bhebhe met Highlanders’ officials on Monday to discuss the coach’s terms of engagement.

“His manager was at the club offices on Monday to discuss the way forward. These negotiations have been ongoing and it seems they’re heading in a positive direction. Some of the things Ndlovu’s camp want ironed out include the money Highlanders owe him for his previous stint as well as the composition of his technical team,” said the source.

Highlanders reportedly owe Ndlovu about $40 000 from his previous contract that was terminated in 2009.

Ndlovu was just nine months into his contract when the club decided to part ways with him after 21 games.

Ndlovu is one of the few former Highlanders’ players qualified to coach in Zimbabwe. The other former Bosso sons with Caf A coaching licences are Rahman Gumbo, whose contract with Chicken Inn runs out at the end of the month, unattached Amini Soma-Phiri and national Under-20 coach Bekithemba Ndlovu.

Bekithemba has been Kelvin Kaindu’s assistant at How Mine and with the latter reportedly on his way back to Zambia, the former is among those tipped for the gold miners’ job.

It is, however, believed that Madinda is keen on working with Bekithemba as well as national team goalkeepers’ trainer, Tembo Chuma.

Madinda, a multi-winning championship coach in Botswana, is a firm believer in home-grown talent and giving youngsters an opportunity to shine.

“In as much as the club and the coach want to win trophies, Ndlovu wants to be given assurances that he will rebuild the squad in his first season without any interruptions and then launch a title challenge in his second year in charge,” said the source.

Highlanders’ chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube confirmed “conversations” with Madinda, but dismissed rumours that they had agreed terms.

“Yes, we have had conversations with Madinda Ndlovu, but nothing has been agreed. We have been clear that we will speak with every Highlanders’ son with requisite qualifications for the job and we’re still in the process of checking the availability of one or two former sons. I can tell you that we haven’t spoken to Bekithemba Ndlovu as he is away on national duty with the Young Warriors,” said Dube.

He said they will unveil the coach once they have agreed terms.

Madinda’s manager Bhebhe said: “At the moment there’s nothing concrete. We will advise you in due course.”

@ZililoR

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  • Vumani

    This is what Bosso needs homegrown coach & manager, foriegn coaches sometimes lack the ability to analyse local dynamics Khatazile has been consistent in the Tswana league he has the ability to identify talent at grassroots level hope returns home and restore the team to its former glory.

  • Wellington

    In recent years all Bosso’s championship winning sides had a Madinda touch, built from scratch using youngsters who were hungrier and eager to make a name for themselves, the likes of Biya Siza Thebe Dazzy Beke Melusi Zenzo Amon, were the first foundations laid on for Rahman and Eddie May that went on to dominate the league taking it in style 4 seasons in a row. Then he gave us Oba Ralph,Zephaniah, rejuvinated Mkhuphali and Methembe did the rest the following season. Had he been given more time in 2009 Bosso would have been talking of a recent championship.

  • Essexvale

    Just a few questions please? Will Madinda be willing to leave the fairly lucrative Bots premier league for a club that is known for reneging on its financial obligations to coaches? (They are reported to owe Madinda a tidy sum) Will the club be willing to give him a free hand in selecting a winning team? The current crop of players have proved to be prone to indiscipline that has rendered them difficult to manage, as seen in the manner that Akbay struggled to keep control over them. Is Madinda the right man fro the job? Remember, he had to leave the club in disgrace after a string of poor postings in league games some years ago.