Mochudi Centre Chiefs have denied claims linking them to Spanish national, Antonio Flores, who is said to be on the way to replace their current mentor, Bongani Mafu. There have been talks that their inexperienced mentor, Mafu is to be shown the door soon.
Chiefs’ spokesperson, Clifford Mogomotsi downplayed the strategy of dumping the Zimbabwean born coach, where reports said Flores has, behind closed doors, been interviewed as possible replacement to Mafu. ‘‘As far as we are concerned Mafu remains our coach, all what he needs is support and we are on good terms with him,’’ said Mogomotsi.
While Mogomotsi acknowledged the claims regarding the Spaniard, the outspoken club liaison distanced his club for what he termed “corridor talk”. But some in football circles believe the club is now only treading carefully around the issue of their mentor, especially after last weekend’s win against Township Rollers. Prior to that weekend game, Mafu was on his last legs. Reports indicate that he had been given a minimum of three games to collect points or face the axe.
The first of the three games saw him losing to Sankoyo Bush Bucks by 2-1. He breathed a sigh of relief when Gilport Lions could not pitch for the second of his game, but left all agape when he pulled a master stroke to punish reckless Rollers, winning the third of his last game. It is not clear if Chiefs remain faithful to Mafu, but sources inside the club say the presence of Pontsho Moloi, former club captain had been influential to the players than Mafu was in winning the game.
Meanwhile, a Kenyan News webpage has already reported that Chiefs is targeting Flores to replace Mafu. ‘‘Antonio Flores is being targeted by Botswana giants, Mochudi Centre Chiefs. The Gaborone based side is in search of Zimbabwean Bongani Mafu’s replacement,’’ Kenyan Soka News webpage reported.
Before Rollers game, Mafu led the club in six games, winning once, drawing three times and losing twice. The team is now on the 9th spot on the 16 team table, with a paltry nine points. Orapa United tops the table with 16 points from eight rounds. The Kenyan website further reported that Mafu is only still at Chiefs due to contractual technicalities that have caused delays in him being sacked to pave way for the Spanish international. It reported that Mafu has been underperforming since the start of the league and Flores is the preferred candidate.
Flores signed for the Uganda Cup Champions in July 2015 in a two year deal, but he could not last long due to a string of poor performances in the Ugandan Premier League. He only managed two wins in as many matches and was fired in October of the same year. Flores possesses a UEFA Pro and CAF ‘B’ License attained in Uganda while handling 16-time Ugandan Premier League champions SC Villa. He has formerly coached UD Almeria, CD Roquetas, AD Polideportivo among other clubs in Spain.
Athletics is one of the sporting activities that for many years has been consistently performing extremely well in international competitions. One of the reasons is the availability of qualified and experienced coaches, who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure that they scout talent and develop more athletes.
For the first time after eons, football clubs plying their trade in the elite league are walking in the shadow of the undefined with nothing concrete agreed and on sight before the commencement of the football season.