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Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
NEW ZIFA technical director Wilson Mutekede reckons that his appointment to the post is a calling by football for him to develop the game on a macro scale with the seasoned coach advocating for a holistic approach to lifting the standards of the country’s biggest sport.
Mutekede was last week named as the successor to Taurai Mangwiro for the influential post of technical director with the mandate to drive ZIFA’s development in all technical aspects of the game.
By virtue of being ZIFA’s technical director Mutekede will also sits as an ex-officio member of the High Performance Committee that supervises all the national teams under the soccer mother body.
The 46 year-old former CAPS United technical manager lasted just two games in charge of Premiership returnees Shabanie Mine when ZIFA announced that they had settled for him for the key post of their technical director.
Mutekede, who has always thought of himself as “the servant of the game’’ yesterday described the move as a calling by football and revealed he was relishing the challenge of taking the national game to another level.
A former coach with the now defunct Division One outfit Twalumba, Mutekede becomes the fourth technical director at ZIFA inside the last five years, after Nelson Matongorere, Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe and lately Mangwiro.
A day after he guided Shabanie Mine to a crucial 1-0 Premiership away win over fancied Highlanders at Barbourfields, Mutekede hit the ground running beginning his ZIFA duties in Masvingo yesterday by helping visiting FIFA instructor Ulrich Mathiot of Seychelles with conducting a grassroots course that will run from April 10-14 and has drawn participants from the country’s 10 provinces.
But for Mutekede, the ZIFA appointment comes as literally living a dream he spelt out in 2010 during his days at CAPS United when he announced that it was his ambition to eventually work for ZIFA and enhance the growth of football on a national scale.
His good friend and former boss at CAPS United Lloyd Chitembwe, also reckoned that Shabanie’s loss was ZIFA’s gain arguing that Mutekede was a rare breed of committed and passionate coaches the country is endowed with.
Mutekede, who is under no illusions about the task that awaits him at ZIFA where resources are also very limited, also appealed for stakeholder support in order for the association to play its role in managing and developing all facets of the game.
“The burden is there but from the onset I used to say football for me is a calling. I have worked in the private sector for such companies like Coca-Cola, Cottco and UNICEF but after it all, football kept calling and I have been in it since 2001.
“It is a road that I started when I got my Level 1 up to the time I got my CAF instructors-hip badge and I am happy to be participating even more as TD.
“I want to ensure that I play my role in the development of the game,’’ Mutekede said.
Mutekede also clarified the misconception that his role at ZIFA would be restricted to only coach education.
“It is true that the TD’s job is just associated with coach education when in fact we also do youth football, programmes for women football, five a side and even beach soccer if we have to play it in this country.
“This job also entails drawing programmes for sports medicine as well as refereeing and goalkeeper coach training programmes.
“I believe that we should be taking a holistic approach to development of football in the country,’’ Mutekede said. Although he had begun enjoying life at Shabanie Mine, Mutekede said he had no regrets having to work for the national association.
“At club level it has been the route but here is national assignment and it takes precedence over club duties and I would have to quickly develop strategies on a macro scale but I will obviously need the support of everyone,’’ Mutekede said.
Chitembwe, whose CPS United outfit will be chasing glory on both the domestic and continental fronts having reached the Champions League group stage, backed Mutekede to succeed in driving the ZIFA development ship.
“I think he (Mutekede) deserves the appointment. He has worked hard for his career.
“He is very passionate and knowledgeable about football I always knew that one day something like that would happen.
“Widzo (Wilson) has got very good articulation of technical matters,” Chitembwe said.