Mukudzei Chingwere Sports Reporter
SHABANIE MINE have temporarily given the team’s coaching responsibilities to unheralded coach Alexio Sijoni as they continue negotiations with former Dynamos gaffer Biggie Zuze. Sijoni previously worked as a developmental coach for Sprouting Academy and helped nurture the skills of Sweden-based midfielder Archford Gutu, Talent Chawapihwa, Devon Chafa and Eric Chipeta.
His appointment is temporary as the club continue to chase the services of Zuze. Following the departure of Takesure Chiragwi last week, Shabanie have indicated they want someone with a reputation of working with junior players.
Having realised their chase for Moses Chunga is unlikely to bear fruits, they have settled for Sijoni to take charge of their weekend game against Herentals. Club chairman Tavaziva Mhloro confirmed the appointment.
“I was supposed to meet Zuze this weekend and that meeting is not yet cancelled but like I said Sijoni is now the front-runner to take the job on a permanent basis.
“Like I have always said, the club is struggling financially that is why we want a coach who can work with junior players.
“Our team is comprised of young players with a lot of potential and that is why we want someone who knows how to get the best from these young players,” said Mhloro.
Sijoni is a close friend of Chiragwi.
“I am happy to be given a chance and I have talked to Takie (Chiragwi) and he has encouraged me to give it a try.
“Unfortunately I did not train the team this week, I am on my way from Harare to Zvishavane right now but as coaches we hope for good results and I will motivate players to do their best.
“So far we have a verbal agreement but after the Herentals game I will talk to the club leadership and that is when I can get the job formally,’’ said Sijoni.
Bulawayo City v Mutare City Rovers (Barbourfields), FC Platinum v Highlanders (Mandava), Herentals v Shabanie Mine (NSS), Dynamos v Nichrut (Rufaro)
Chapungu v CAPS United (Ascot), Bulawayo Chiefs v ZPC Kariba (Luveve), Black Rhinos v Ngezi Platinum Stars (NSS), Triangle United v Chicken Inn (Gibbo), Harare City v Yadah (Rufaro)