AMINI Soma-Phiri has started work as head coach at struggling Premier Soccer League outfit Bulawayo City and has been contracted until the end of the season with a mandate to ensure the local authority side remains in the country’s top league.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Bulawayo City terminated Darlington Dodo’s contract on April 30 following a string of poor results after the side suffered six defeats on the trot and they elevated his assistant Bekithemba Ndlovu on an interim basis.
Club chairman Jerry Sibanda yesterday said the former Highlanders gaffer has signed a one-year contract with an option to extend his stay if Bulawayo City survives relegation.
“We have confirmed Soma-Phiri as head coach on a one-year contract and if he does well we will renew his contract. He will be with us to the end of the season and we have asked him to save the team from relegation. It’s a performance-based contract,” Sibanda said.
Soma-Phiri started training with the team on Monday.
The turning point for Dodo was his sixth defeat of the season when Bulawayo City lost to Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium and the club bosses held a crisis meeting in which it was decided that he be given the boot.
Ndlovu took over as interim coach and won his first match beating Nichrut 3-0 at Barbourfields Stadium before losing the second 2-1 to Chicken Inn at Luveve on Saturday.
He reverts to his position as assistant coach.
Dodo, who became the first coach to be fired this year, replaced Mandla Mpofu after Bulawayo City had survived relegation on the last day last season.
Since promotion to the Premier Soccer League in 2016, the local authority side has been coached by Philani “Beefy’ Ncube, Try Ncube, Mpofu and Dodo before Soma-Phiri’s arrival.
Barry Daka is the technical adviser and Julius Ndlovu will remain goalkeepers’ coach.
Bulawayo City have only won two matches in 10 encounters with a draw and seven defeats are hanging precariously on position 17 with seven points.
Soma-Phiri’s first assignment is a home match against Shabanie Mine at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday.