Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
SOUTHERN Region Division One championship winning coach Thulani Sibanda says he has overstayed in the unfashionable second tier league and is ready for the topflight challenge.
The 38-year-old Sibanda, voted the Zifa Southern Region 2017 Coach of the Year on Sunday, guided Bulawayo Chiefs to a memorable treble, winning the league title, the eight-team Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Invitational Cup as well as the John Landa Nkomo Top-Four Cup on Saturday.
Chiefs finished the season unbeaten and claimed the championship with six games to go.
On Saturday, Chiefs beat Hwange-based Makomo 3-1 in the final of the John Landa Nkomo Cup.
“I think this is the right time to go to the PSL because I’ve overstayed in Division One. To be honest, I need a fresh challenge because I no longer feel there is anything to play for in the First Division,” said Sibanda.
A holder of a Scottish C-Licence and a Sports Science degree from the National University of Science and Technology (Nust), Sibanda now has three First Division titles under his belt and has enrolled for a Uefa B-Licence course to be held at Edinburg University in May 2017.
His first championship in Division One was in 2011 when he guided now defunct Quelaton into the Premiership. Sibanda won the 2013 First Division title with Bulawayo Chiefs, but the club elected not to play in the Premiership and sold its franchise to Bantu Rovers.
This time around Chiefs have committed to playing in the PSL and time will tell if they will stick to their word.
“We had a good preseason and the energy levels were high from the boys. Adopting a scientific approach helped the players retain their energy and they went on to give us the best. I believe the best tool for success is researching, planning well and coming up with training methods that suit your desired style as well as the strength of players.
“Going forward, the only thing that I promise to do is research on changes in global trends of football and become a better resourced coach to help players achieve their potential,” said Sibanda.
Sibanda says his involvement in the Cosafa Women’s Championship’s technical study group (TSG) in September helped to develop him into a better coach.