Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
HOW MINE FC began their pre-season training yesterday led by co-caretaker coaches Sheunesu Chaka and Jeremiah Makota as the club hasn’t finalised a deal with a substantive head coach.
The Bulawayo-based gold miners are believed to have agreed terms with Kelvin Kaindu last year, but Triangle United are insisting that the Zambian still has a running contract with them and they expect him to lead their pre-season training set to start soon.
Kaindu was set to join the gold miners with his trusted lieutenants Bekithemba Ndlovu and goalkeepers’ coach Tembo Chuma at the beginning of this month, but the ongoing tug of war could lead to a bruising legal battle between the two clubs, which both struggled towards the close of the 2015 league season.
Triangle United chairman Lovemore Matikinyidze yesterday said they would be starting their own pre-season training soon under the guidance of “our coach Kaindu”.
“As far as we’re concerned, Kaindu is still our man. He has a running contract with us that expires at the end of this (2016) season and nothing has changed,” said Matikinyidze, who, however, admitted that he was not totally certain that Kaindu would return to the Lowveld side.
How Mine chairman Mark Andrew said they would not reveal the name of their substantive coach until “a few loose ends are tied”.
“We don’t want to jeopardise what’s brewing and so once everything is in place, we’re going to call a press conference to unveil our new man, but for now we’re keeping his identity under wraps,” said Andrew.
He also denied that the club faced an uncertain future due to declining gold prices that had resulted in the club offloading a number of old horses from their squad.
“Our sponsorship is sound; that you can be certain. We just took a decision to promote youngsters because we believe that’s where the future is. It had nothing to do with sponsorship issues; we’ve simply changed our way of doing things,” Andrew said.
How Mine were strong title contenders before the start of the 2015 season after dominating the transfer market under former coach Luke Masomere, but things went horribly wrong as the season progressed.
Observers had questioned their recruitment policy, which saw them acquiring old players including former Soccer Star of the Year and former Dynamos skipper Tawanda Muparati, who was nursing an injury. Muparati played less than 30 minutes for the gold miners the entire season.