Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Saints FC board chairman Vincent Pamire says he is inundated with calls from local coaches that are keen to head the dugout of the once illustrious club that has now bounced back from oblivion.
Chauya Chikwata, the 1988 Zimbabwe league champions, were one of the few teams that fully-paid their affiliation fees and cleared their debt with the Zifa Southern Region Division One League.
Saints have been in the football doldrums since 2016 when they were kicked out of the Zifa Southern Region Division One for failing to pay affiliation fees and not fulfilling three consecutive fixtures.
They were first relegated from the PSL in 2006 before making a return in 2011 after buying the then Chitungwiza-based Eagles’ franchise, but were axed from the Premiership in the same year.
“Soon we will be coming up with a full-technical setup. We have been operating with an ad hoc technical setup made up of veteran Gibson Homela and Lloyd Munhanga since last year.
“They’ve done a good job, but now we want a coach who will bring results. Look, before paying that affiliation fee and clearing the debt, no coach worth his soul would have taken us seriously if we approached them, now they see that we are serious and many are calling asking for a job,” said Pamire.
And just what kind of coach are Saints looking for?
“We are not going to hire a coach because he once played for Zimbabwe Saints, no. We are going for someone who knows what he is doing and will ensure that we achieve our goals of getting into the Premiership,” Pamire said.
The revival of Chikwata is being driven by funding from supporters and well-wishers. There are also business entities reportedly willing to partner the club so that it stays afloat, makes an impact and ensures the club does not sink again.
In the First Division, Saints will face stiff competition from clubs that include Talen Vision, who go into the 2020 season among the favourites.
Hwange, relegated from the Premiership last season, Victoria Falls’ Mosi Rovers and perennial campaigners ZPC Hwange are sure to give Saints a good run in the second-tier league. — @ZililoR.