RODWELL Dhlakama has been rewarded for helping revitalise Ngezi Platinum Stars with a permanent position as the club’s head coach.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Mhondoro Ngezi-based side confirmed his appointment as substantive coach during the club’s player awards ceremony at their base on Wednesday night.
“Having commanded a gallant comeback in 2019, please join me in confirming the appointment of Rodwell Dhlakama as the substantive head coach of Ngezi Platinum Stars,” club vice-president in charge of technical, Lysias Chiwozva said to a thunderous applause.
Dhlakama joined the club from Chapungu in the middle of the season, to replace Erol Akbay, with the club struggling on the bottom half of the log table.
He managed to guide the club to the final of the Chibuku Super Cup final, in which they lost 1-0 to Highlanders. In the league, Ngezi Platinum finished a remarkable fourth.
“As the newly-appointed substantive head coach of the greatest football club in the country, I have got no doubt that in him we have a capable and energetic young leader who can deliver the big prize for this brand. The onus is unto you head coach to deliver. We will support you by all means necessary to ensure that you deliver the aspirations of this club. Dhlakama will be beefing up his technical team.”
He is also expected to beef the squad as well. Reports suggest that Dhlakama will be reunited with Denver Mukamba, while Soccer Star of the Year finalist King Nadolo has been linked with a move to Mhondoro.
Chiwozva then took a dig at Akbay, saying if only they had fired the Dutchman earlier, Ngezi could have finished the season better.
“I was talking to the captain and he shares the same sentiment. He said if only this change had come in the first half of the season, we were definitely going to be somewhere better. But I am sure that the right platform has been set for us to take off. Rodwell Dhlakama joined the club at the halfway stage of the season as a caretaker coach and he did more than what he was supposed to do.”
In the players’ awards, winger Donald Teguru walked away the biggest winner of the night.
Teguru, a surprise exclusion from the league’s Soccer Stars of the Year finalist, got the players’ player of the year award, in addition of the golden boot award. He scored nine goals for Ngezi this season. The two awards got him a total $28 000 cash prize.
Unfortunately, Teguru was not around to receive his prizes as he had a bereavement in his family.
The club’s player of the year award went to their inspirational captain Frank Makarati, who received $20 000 and a trophy.
Ngezi Platinum Stars Player Awards
Player of the year: Frank Makarati – $20 000
Players’ player of the year: Donald Teguru – $14 000
Most disciplined player: Polite Moyo – $10 000
Most loyal player: Keith Murera – $10 000
Most improved player: Nelson Chadya – $10 000
Most promising young player: – Mandlenkosi Mlilo – $10 000
Rookie of the year: Wayne Makuva – $10 000
Golden boot: Donald Teguru – $14 000