Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIFA have appointed Croatian Zdravko Logarusic as Warriors’ head coach on a two-year performance-based contract.
The Croatian replaces Sunday Chidzambwa, who resigned last year after a turbulent Africa Cup of Nations finals campaign.
Zdravko (54) will have three assistants, Lloyd Chitembwe, Joe Antipas and Tonderayi Ndiraya, who will also be in charge of the national Under-23 side, while South African-based former Zimbabwe Saints goalkeeper Pernell McKop, brother to another Zimbabwe Saints and Warriors’ legend Henry, will be goalkeepers’ coach, taking over from Tembo Chuma.
“Zdravko Logarusic has been appointed as the Warriors’ coach on a two-year performance-based contract. The Croatian has a Uefa Pro Licence and a Caf A Licence. He has coached the national team of Sudan and top clubs in Ghana, Kenya, Angola and Tanzania. To be unveiled in two weeks,” Zifa posted on its official Twitter handle last night, moments after association president Felton Kamambo had addressed a press conference in Harare yesterday.
His last coaching job was as Sudan head coach, a position he held for two years until December last year when his contract expired and was not renewed. While in charge of Sudan, he led them to a third-place finish in the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) in Morocco, beating Libya 4-2 in a penalty shootout after the two nations’ third-place play-off had ended one apiece in regulation time.
At club level, Logarusic has managed Ghanaian, Angolan and Kenyan sides Asante Kotoko, King Faisal Babes, Ashanti Gold, Interclube, Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards respectively. He also had a spell at Simba Stars of Tanzania.
Speaking to Chronicle Sport from Cape Town in South Africa last night, McKop, who holds the same post at Absa Premiership side Stellenbosch, said he was elated at being given such a huge responsibility.
“It’s an honour and a responsibility that I’ve always loved,” said McKop.
The new coaches’ first competitive matches will be the Warriors’ back-to-back Caf Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against continental champions Algeria on March 23 and 30 respectively.
Zimbabwe began their quest for another appearance at the Afcon finals with a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Botswana, but against all odds, stunned Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka in the second Group H match to leave them second on four points, two behind Algeria, while Botswana has one point and Zambia has nothing heading into the third round of matches.
After the two Afcon matches, the Croation will then lead the Warriors in the 2020 edition of the Chan finals set for Cameroon in April.