Nkosilathi Sibanda recently in Botswana
MADINDA Ndlovu on Saturday wrote his own piece of history in Botswana soccer when he won his third consecutive league title.
In only his first season with Township Rollers, Ndlovu underlined his worth with yet another title after a good performance in the previous season with Mochudi Centre Chiefs.
Ndlovu, a legend back in Zimbabwe where he starred for probably the best Highlanders team after Independence, is a Batswana favourite on and off the field.
Demand for his services has soared with a number of clubs keen on signing him.
This is not surprising considering his impressive record since taking up coaching in that country.
Ndlovu has been elevated to technical advisor for next season.
Township Rollers went into Saturday’s game under pressure to beat BeMobile Premiership bottom of the log placed Miscellaneous in the last game of the season.
Popa, as Township Rollers are affectionately known, won 1-0.
Is it sheer luck to have achieved with two different sides?
Mthokozisi Dube, a sports journalist and publisher based in Botswana, said Ndlovu has proved to be a master tactician of the game.
Dube, who has watched all of Township Rollers games in Gaborone said there are few coaches in the BeMobile who can match Ndlovu.
“Madinda is a good coach by all standards. He is a friendly mentor too. The players in all the teams he has coached understood him well and this could have been his trick.
“No one thought he will settle well at Township Rollers. We never gave him a chance, but look at what he has done. It’s unbelievable,” he said.
Dube said Ndlovu has been a blessing to Botswana football.
“It is well known that Madinda has changed the face of football in Botswana. Just look at how he transformed Mochudi (Centre Chiefs) when he was there. Even at Rollers, he built a strong team out of average and little known players.”
Chronicle Sport also caught up with Township Rollers supporters in Francistown.
The Popa fans said they regard Ndlovu as their saviour.
“We are happy with Madinda. The guy is just fantastic. He has made us happy and we want him to stay longer so that he wins more trophies,” said Ace Makopane.
Ronald Sebogo could only wish there could be more coaches of Ndlovu’s calibre in Botswana.
“We have a good coach in Madinda Ndlovu. If only there were many like him, then our football would be exciting.
“He must bring more coaches from Zimbabwe this side,” said Sebogo.
Ndlovu has also won rave reviews from the Botswana media.
According to Dube, Madinda started off the season with relatively new and unknown players. A good example is Sekhama Koko, who since working with Madinda has improved his game.
Creative and fast paced wingers have led his sides in recent years.
At Mochudi Centre Chiefs, Ndlovu worked with Joel Mogorosi and Galabgwe Moyana.
Both players became Botswana’s star players. Mogorosi nearly joined Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum after scoring 26 league goals under Ndlovu’s mentorship in the 2011/2012 season.
In a recent interview, Ndlovu revealed his secret.
“You must identify your players’ strengths and weaknesses and once you have done that, then you can find ways to improve them.
Another thing is to avoid restricting them. I always encourage all my players to get into more goal-scoring positions regardless of which position they play,” Ndlovu told the Daily News of Botswana.
Paul Moyo, Barry Daka, Clever Hunda and Max Malume Moyo are some of the coaches who have worked and done well in Botswana.
Botswana based former Lwendulu, Hwange and Warriors attacking midfielder Fabian Zulu has congratulated Ndlovu.
“He has done us proud as Zimbabweans. We are proud of his achievements and we hope he can continue to inspire others,” said Zulu a former Notswane player and now a television commentator.