Tobias Mandoreba in Hwange
HIGHLANDERS FC legend Douglas “British” Mloyi has challenged yesteryear soccer greats to make a positive contribution to the development of the game by taking up refereeing careers and administrative roles at club levels.
Mloyi was speaking on the sidelines of the burial of his former Bosso teammate and late soccer legend Lemmy Munenekwa in Makwa area in Hwange on Easter Monday.
“I gathered a lot on Lemmy’s overtures to continue developing football and today I am challenging football legends to seriously consider taking up careers like refereeing and other administrative duties within clubs at any level,” said Mloyi.
“There is need to discontinue the current trend of former players folding their hands and being spectators while standards of our football continue to decline. For example, if you retire at 30 and become a referee that means a total of 15 years as a top notch official before reaching the retirement age of 45 years, as you have first-hand experience of the game besides the requisite training you will receive.”
Mloyi spent close to three decades at Bosso and is now involved in the club’s talent scouting programme.
Hwange FC legend Weekly Mwale, who was among a host of former footballers that attended the burial, echoed Mloyi’s sentiments.
“I agree with Douglas on ex-players’ active involvement in the game. If we have former players as referees, I’m sure it will be more difficult for them to officiate in some bizarre fashion like what we are witnessing currently as they know how it feels to be robbed on the field of play after putting maximum effort,” said Mwale.
“The other avenue for legends is pursuing the match commissioners’ courses, as in Zimbabwe it looks like former greats are not taking those courses out of sheer ignorance. In Zambia, for example, one of the legends Kalusha Bwalya is a match commissioner,” he said.
Charles Ncube, another Hwange FC veteran, called on former players to emulate the late Munenekwa’s drive to ensure continued input by legends into football.
“Lemmy had a burning passion for soccer long after he left playing and I am happy that besides coaching and running clubs in this region, he had initiated a vibrant Makwa Football Association League (MAFA).
“It’s a challenge to other former players to keep the fire burning as far as soccer is concerned,” said Ncube.
Alick “Rico” Nyoni challenged the Hwange FC hierarchy to make the Hwange legends useful.
“Hwange legends are ever ready to play our part in making Matabeleland North province a hub of soccer talent, but I call on the Hwange executive to fully support us with resources and we will fully deliver on the blueprints we have produced as former players to help develop soccer,” said Nyoni.