ZPC Kariba coach Saul Chaminuka and his Hwange counterpart Nation Dube are set to be unveiled as assistants to Kalisto Pasuwa in an Under-23 national team set up expected to be announced this week.
The trio begins duty with an international friendly match against Libya on September 10 in Morocco.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
A tough task lies ahead for the three who have to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games and soothe a hurt nation after the Afcon qualification debacle.
Tembo Chuma will be the goalkeepers’ coach and will be supervised by veteran mentor Richard Tswatswa.
Chaminuka has established himself as one of the best football minds in Zimbabwe with an unbeaten 19-match run at ZPC Kariba while Dube has made Hwange a respectable side that has humbled traditional giants Dynamos, Highlanders and CAPS United.
Jairos Tapera and Mandla Mpofu are set to remain at the helm of the Under-20s while Aces coach Gift Kagogoda takes over as the Under-17 coach.
Pasuwa’s experience in international football is however marked by glaring failure. He has dominated local football, winning three straight league titles but has failed dismally with Dynamos in the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup.
Trusting Pasuwa to head a highly demanding mission is questionable.
He also served under Gorowa in a system that ignored the best talent Zimbabwe has abroad while favouring South Africa-based players.
Meanwhile, Zifa has for the time being suspended focus on the Warriors, disbanding the squad altogether.
Zimbabwe could make a formidable side for the Olympics. Tear-away winger Kudakwashe Mahachi, Dutch-based midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and Sweden-stationed linkman Archford Gutu are eligible for the Olympics. Dynamos right-back Blessing Moyo is also eligible.
Teenage sensation Macauley Bonne of English League One side Colchester United has also availed himself.
The 18-year-old forward was born in England to Zimbabwean parents.
“All players participating in the preliminary and final competition of the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 shall be born on or after January 1 1993, with the exception of a maximum of three players who do not meet this age limit who may also be included in the official list of players for the final competition,” said Fifa in a statement.
Mahachi was born in September 1993, while Nakamba was born in January 1994 and Gutu who took part in the bid for the foiled 2012 Olympic has August 5 1993 as his official date of birth.
Fifa has set October 25 deadline to register teams for the Olympics where only four African teams slots are reserved for qualification.
A fully-fledged professional in his debut League One season with Colchester United, Bonne qualifies to represent Zimbabwe courtesy of his Zimbabwean parentage.
Having established himself at club level, becoming a full international is Bonne’s next goal. He is also eligible to play for England but Zimbabwe has quickly come into his mind.
“I am with the club (Colchester) at the moment as I am in the first team. But from that I can tell you now I would like to play for Zimbabwe,” Bonne told Standardsport.
Appointing the next Under-23 coach should be taken as seriously as appointing the man to take charge of the seniors.
Zifa has in the past appointed mysterious coaches like Brazilian mentor Valinhos and Klaus Dieter-Pagels.
The association has ignored highly-regarded coach with a well-documented international football record.