Mixed reactions to Brito Warriors job
Fungai Muderere, [email protected]
HIGHLANDERS FC were late yesterday scheduled to respond to the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) Normalisation Committee’s request for the services of their head coach Baltemar Brito who the association wants to engage as Warriors coach on an interim basis.
Through their chairman Lincoln Mutasa, on Tuesday the Normalisation Committee (NC), which is running affairs at Zifa, wrote to Bosso chairman Johnfat Sibanda expressing their wish to appoint the Portuguese coach as temporary Warriors boss.
“The Normalisation Committee would like to request your executive permission to engage one of your employees in the name of Brito Baltemar Jose Oliveira for a possible appointment as the interim senior national team coach. Whereas he has indicated he is in permanent employ of your esteemed organisation. It is in that light of integrity we hereby pray you shall find it beneficial to release him for envisaged national duty during this interim Normalisation period,” wrote Mutasa. While Highlanders chief executive officer Ronald Moyo acknowledged receipt of the letter, he said they were scheduled to make a response to Zifa by the end of day yesterday.
“I can confirm that we received correspondence from Zifa who are requesting for permission to engage our coach Brito as interim Warriors coach. The same has been communicated with the club and by end of day today (yesterday) will make a response to Zifa as we are yet to fully engage on the matter as a club,” said Moyo.
The committee has come close to appointing Warriors and Mighty Warriors mentors amid revelations that interviews to fill the vacant posts started on Tuesday.
For the senior men’s team, the committee is reportedly looking at five people while for the women’s team they are considering three candidates.
After advertising the posts, Zifa received a plethora of applications to take charge at junior national teams for men and women as well as senior national teams’ jobs.
Brito joined a band of foreign coaches who recently set their sights on the vacant Warriors job after throwing his name into the hat.
In mid-August, the Portuguese Bosso mentor said that his former boss Jose Mourinho urged him to grab the challenge of coaching the Zimbabwe senior soccer team with both hands, should the opportunity arise.
The allure of the Warriors’ coaching role transcended the country’s borders, capturing the attention and interest of individuals across the globe.
Brito has so far endeared himself with the Highlanders fans after guiding the Bulawayo giants to a great season start.
Highlanders Harare Chapter chairman Joel Ncube said it was good to note that Brito’s coaching potential has been recognised at national level.
“As a chapter we think it’s a very good development. A good move that shows that our coach’s potential has been recognised at a bigger scale.
“As long as he remains committed to the club, we have no problem with him joining the national team. We pray that he remains committed and does not forget we have the league championship and Chibuku Super Cup trophy to chase. Norman Mapeza and Joey Antipas once did it so it’s not something new. We are happy Zifa has great belief in Brito,” said Ncube.
However, some of the Bosso faithful are of the view that Brito’s divided attention is likely to cost the success-starved Bosso of the Premier Soccer League title.
“Yes, joining the Warriors will be a big boost for Brito’s curriculum vitae. But that divided attention from his side is likely to see us lose the championship. We badly need that trophy and we are still in contention. Brito concentration levels should not be affected by letting join the Warriors setup,” said Chankie Dube, a member of the Highlanders Cowdray Park Chapter. Heart and Soul Highlanders Chapter secretary-general Kholiwe Moyo concurred with Dube.
“On behalf of our chapter, I wouldn’t advise that our coach take the Warriors job. We have taxing matches ahead and his attention will obviously get divided by starting to work for the national team.
“We don’t want him to get disturbed at a time he has been doing a great job for our club,” said Moyo.