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Rollers, Ndlovu rekindle affair

Orapa United head coach, Madinda Ndlovu is eager to hear from his former team, Township Rollers about the possibility of returning to the Mma Masire based side, reports suggest. The Zimbabwean national, would find it hard to resist another serious offer to become Township Rollers mentor for the second time.


However, the team’s management is taking their time and have rather chosen to procrastinate about making Ndlovu head coach again. Other reports suggest that Ndlovu has already met with Rollers’ chief financier, Jagdish Shah some two weeks ago. The details of the meeting have been kept under wraps, but sources have told this publication that Shah and Ndlovu are in good books and the tycoon prefers him (Ndlovu) to lead the team.


Meanwhile, Mark Harrison is still Rollers head coach, and management has yet to finalise the decision of whether to replace Harrison with Ndlovu. The former has so far failed to coax a winning formula for the team. Though it is said a number of individuals claiming to represent the Shah led club have enquired about Ndlovu to poll his interest in the position, all enquiries have been deflected.


Ndlovu on the other hand is believed to be waiting for senior members of the Rollers hierarchy to make serious contact. Those close to him say the Zimbabwean has resolved to say nothing publicly until he knows Rollers' intentions. He would, however, be disappointed if there is no approach, with reports further saying the Orapa life is not interesting to him.


Having won league titles with two big clubs in the country, Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Township Rollers, and a top 8 cup with Orapa United, Ndlovu’s stock, without doubt, has risen. He has signed a contract extension with United, but reports say, if need be, Rollers’ purse can buy him out of his contract. While at Rollers, Ndlovu, just like Harrison, attained A license coaching certificate.


According to reports, Ndlovu believes he could extract the best from Rollers squad, regularly labelled country-class; despite rarely delivering performances to match this for most of this season. He has also worked with few players at both Orapa United and Rollers and is said to be confident that his preparatory methods and tactical intelligence would have an immediate impact.


Though he has labelled coaching as 'a thankless job', Madinda regards a new challenge with former club as an exceptional case, sources claim.  “It's special because it is one of his former teams,' said one of his closest confidants.


“Normally you have to return to one of your former clubs when you are older, but with this Rollers side, there is a different motivation, different players. It is a special club with a special culture of football. He would welcome the chance to speak to Rollers about this job,” the friend further revealed.
The Rollers squad is one of the most expensive in this country. Although a large chunk of the blame is thrown on the side of the coach, issues of bonuses and player favouritism are evidently putting the club on the back foot.


Ndlovu has twice won the premier league title with Mochudi Centre Chiefs. He left the club under a cloud, crossing to rivals Township Rollers. At the first time of asking in 2013-14 at Rollers, Ndlovu remarkably won the league with them. As things stand, his team Orapa United tops the league standings as they are seeking to mount a serious challenge for more silverware. He is expected to steward them in the CAF competitions, and should he move back to Rollers, a similar assignment awaits him.


Orapa United is said to be worried about the recent speculation but have chosen to keep quite unless prompted to speak. The same move is adopted by Rollers. But Madinda when contacted downplayed every report that links him to Rollers. ‘‘I know nothing about Rollers interest in me, actually i am happy with Orapa United,’’ he said.  


The intention to bring back Ndlovu will mean Harrison’s nomadic life in coaching continues.


Harrison was the goalkeeper coach of Everton before becoming coach and assistant manager of Barrow, and later player-manager of Stafford Rangers and then the reserve coach and assistant manager of Oxford United in the Championship league. Interestingly, he gained his UEFA A license at the young age of 33. He later had a spell as coach of the Bangladesh national football team


Harrison then went on to manage Fortune in the South African NFD and later Hurriya in the Maldives. He was employed to assist Mpumalanga Black Aces in the South African Premier Soccer League in 2011. He was promoted to head coach position for the remainder of the 2010–11 season, but parted with the club at the end of the campaign. He went on to coach African Warriors in the National First Division


Harrison took up the job as head coach of Bay Stars, in South Africa's third tier, the SAFA Second Division in the 2012-13 season. However, he left during the season to join Chippa United. He was appointed head coach of Chippa United in April 2013 but despite never losing a game, was unable to prevent the team from being relegated at the end of the 2012–13 season.

 

He resigned from his position after four games in the 2013–14 season and became head coach of Golden Arrows on 7 October 2013. In January 2015 he was appointed head coach of Zimbabwean club, CAPS United. Harrison resigned on 16 June 2015, the same day he was announced as the head coach of Township Rollers.

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