Defending be-MOBILE premier league champions, Mochudi Centre Chiefs have their sights set on stalwart coach, Stanley Mwaanga as a possible replacement of Mike Sithole as the team stutters in the first phase of the season, reports say.
WeekendSport sources say Mwaanga was seen in deep discussions with Chiefs high ranking officials this past Monday- growing speculations that Sithole’s days at the Kgatleng side are numbered.
The defending champions have recorded unconvincing results this season amidst off field hurdles where players’ rewards are not seriously given priority. Reports say the award winning coach is trailing on thin ice as management’s patience on him has been on a downward spiral over the past few months.
However, the club and players alike are said to be divided over Sithole’s stay. Sithole is regarded as one of the best foreign coaches to have grazed the premier league. A section of Chiefs officials still have unparalleled love for Sithole and want him to give them the top 8 tournament, while some feel he is not fit to compete with Township Rollers anymore as The Blues’ upward trajectory automatically spell doom for him.
Mwaanga‘s experience in the elite league comes in handy. Although, he has not won any major silverware in this country, he has shown many that he is capable of mounting a title challenge when given an opportunity. His star first rose when he led Ecco City Greens right through the still gates of the premier league. However, his stay would soon attract some animosity eventually getting fired. He’s had stints with Township Rollers, Motlakase Power Dynamos, Prisons XI, Gaborone United and BDF XI. The Zambian tactician went on to open his own football academy where he is currently based.
Nonetheless, Chiefs’ media liaison Clifford Mogomotsi dismissed reports linking the team to Mwaanga saying, “We are yet to make final decisions.” It is now common knowledge that Sithole‘s contract with Chiefs lapses on February 2016 and a review is on process.
Before the club's pursuit of a new coach emerged, the plan was for the Zimbabwean to end the season and then have a review at Magosi- a plan initiated by club owners, Mclean Letshwiti and Jamali.
Letshwiti and his team are said to be adamant that if it is decided at this point to let Sithole go, there should be a candidate in place who has agreed terms and would be ready to take over instantly to prepare and propel Chiefs to at least winning the Mascom top 8 tournament.
This is the strategy under which Mwaanga was approached, and although the team deny having reached an agreement with him, discussions between the two parties regarding financial terms and contractual clauses are said to be at a the stage where a deal is ready to be signed.
Sithole's position grew more precarious once the team failed to emulate last year‘s performance that saw them winning the league.
After failing to stage a convincing comeback against fierce rivals Township Rollers in a be MOBILE league game that saw the Mma Masire west based side stretch the lead, this season's dismal campaign (by Chiefs’ standard) is reported to have convinced the board Sithole was no longer the man to lead the club. His constant complaining about this season's transfer buys and the inability to play interesting football with costly investments in the squad were all telling factors in the club's decision to approach Mwaanga, reports say.
Chiefs, it is believed was attracted to the Zambian because of his impressive stewarding of other premier league sides, and his personable manner. By all accounts, Mwaanga is a players' coach, described as more humble and possessing the ability to man-manage players to keep them onside and coax winning displays from them.
The Manchester United defender will now focus on his club career having made 93 caps for France, appearing at three world cups and on European championship. The Les Bleus won the World cup in 2018 and Raphael Varane started all but one of France’s matches in Qatar as they finished as runners up to Argentina
With many being of the view that the state of football in Botswana has deteriorated significantly as it is no longer appealing to the business community, this was a good week for the football community. The Botswana Football Association (BFA) leadership under the stewardship of MacLean Letshwiti secured sponsorship for a combined value of P19. 3 million for the FA Cup competition and the First Division league – both South and North.