Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
NEWLY appointed Zifa technical director Wilson Mutekede believes junior development and coach education are key facets of a strong footballing nation.
He replaces Taurayi Mangwiro, who left the job to become head coach of Castle Lager Premiership side Triangle United.
Speaking at a post match interview after his last match in charge of Castle Lager PSL returnees Shabanie Mine at Barbourfields Stadium after his team beat Highlanders 1-0, Mutekede said he was ready for the Zifa job.
“I think the Zifa technical director’s job is all about looking at football and planning for the future. There is need to come up with programmes that ensure football survives. These programmes should look into junior development, women’s football and coach education. There’s quite a bit of work that needs to be done. The burden is to produce coaches that will take us to the next level,” said Mutekede.
A Caf A Licence holder, who has a wealth of experience and vast knowledge in the technical development of football, having worked at both developmental and professional levels, Mutekede is expected to lead Zifa’s technical development programmes.
Between 2011 and 2014, Mutekede worked as head coach of Northern Region Division One side Twalumba, a project that was mainly driven by the goal to develop young talent.
Seven players he worked with during his time at Twalumba now have at least a cap with the Warriors, most notably Elisha Muroiwa, who was part of Zimbabwe’s Africa Cup of Nations team in Gabon.
Mutekede is also a Caf instructor.
In addition to attaining Zifa and Caf coaching qualifications, Mutekede also studied for a Diploma in Coaching and Management at the National University of Science and Technology; the same institution where he is currently studying for a Sports Science in Coaching and Management degree.
He said standardisation of coaches will not affect the standard of coaching in the country.
“If we look back, you will note that implementation of Club Licensing and coach licensing in particular started about five years back and we were given a grace period. At some point it (standardisation of coaches) had to start. We have over 76 coaches with Caf A licences so there is no problem,” Mutekede said.
Zifa has implemented a strict standardisation for local coaching that requires all top-flight coaches to possess a Caf A Licence from this season in line with club licensing.
Under the new requirements, Caf A Licence holders can either be Premiership head coaches or assistants.
Division 1 coaches will be required to have a Caf B badge as a minimum requirement, while their assistants should have a Caf C or Zifa Level Four Licence.
In the Second Division, a coach should have a Caf C Licence, while his understudies are required to have a Level Three qualification as a minimum standard.
The coaching standards have also cascaded down to Division 3, tertiary institutions and schools.
For secondary schools, a Zifa Level Two badge is now mandatory and primary school football coaches should now hold at least a Level Two certificate.