By Eddie Chikamhi
FOUR years after he waved goodbye to the Zimbabwean game, Ian “Dibango” Gorowa could bounce back but this time for his first Castle Lager Premiership coaching job.
This follows revelations linking Gorowa with the vacant Ngezi Platinum post with the former Warriors gaffer also fuelling speculation after he was spotted at Baobab Stadium on Saturday as the league runners-up fell 1-0 to Black Rhinos.
Gorowa also featured for Rhinos and Dynamos during an illustrious playing career that also took him to Sweden and Ajax Cape Town.
Ngezi on their part have been without a substantive coach since they fired Tonderai Ndiraya with five games before the end of the league programme with the former Dynamos mentor having been sacrificed for the Mhondoro miners’ failure to wrestle the championship from FC Platinum.
Although Ngezi had Clifton Kadurira as interim coach, they have not made any secret of the fact that they are head hunting for a suitable coach with such names like Gorowa’s former assistant Callisto Pasuwa and CAPS United’s Lloyd Chitembwe, Mark Harrison of Harare City and championship-winning coach Norman Mapeza all being linked with a move to the ambitious outfit.
Although Kadurira stood in for the remainder of the season, he is unlikely to win the head coach’s post after managing a paltry five points from a possible 15 in the games he took sole charge.
In the end a team that was long on potential and promise for much of the season surrendered the title chase to FC Platinum meekly, something that did not go down well with the club’s chiefs.
Other coaches to have also been included on the Ngezi wish list include current Warriors assistant Rahman Gumbo, Highlanders’ Madinda Ndlovu and Joey Antipas of Chicken Inn.
However, club chairman Jeremiah Gasitene yesterday played down the frenzied talks about Gorowa or any of the galaxy of former Warriors coaches being linked with his side.
Gasitene said the Mhondoro miners are not in a rush to appoint a substantive coach.
Although a decision is yet to be made, the visit by South Africa-based Gorowa to Baobab at the weekend could be a telling sign of their interests.
Gorowa coached Zimbabwe between 2013 and 2015 and took them to a fourth place finish at the 2014 African Nations Championships in Cape Town.
That fine run at the CHAN tournament helped a host of players including big Warriors goalkeeper George Chigova to secure moves to South African clubs.
Although Gorowa has never coached a local club, he has gained his coaching experience in the South African Premiership.
The former Zimbabwe international striker has had coaching stints Ajax Cape Town, Moroka Swallows, Thanda Zulu Royal and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Gasitene could neither refute nor confirm his side’s interest in Gorowa insisting that they are still hunting for a suitable coach to replace the interim technical department. “Interim says it all, doesn’t it? We will announce our substantive technical team as we go on. We have been linked with so many coaches, I guess speculation is bound to happen when certainty doesn’t exist,” said Gasitene.
For all their investment and huge expectations, Ngezi Platinum Stars may feel the biggest losers in this year’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League campaign which ended at the weekend.
For the second year running, the Mhondoro-based side set the pace early in the race and ended up watching their dream crumble with fellow platinum miners FC Platinum snatching the title.
Gasitene, however, was encouraged by the positional gains they made.
They finished third last year and this year they were second, albeit with 65 points, 13 behind champions FC Platinum.
Ngezi Platinum had a good chance to wrap the championship up but they fell short in the home stretch leading to the sacking of Ndiraya with five games to go when the team were five points behind the leaders.
“We parted company mutually. As with all relationships things happen and parting ways is a part of life,” said Gasitene.
“We had a good season though it fizzled out towards the end. We had an improvement in position which was good.
“Our title hopes were not a secret but it didn’t happe. We aimed for the stars but landed on the moon. So next season we hope to land on a star.
“We failed to collect as many points as we were capable of. We are analysing our weaknesses and strategising for next season. We need to improve in various spheres. We operate as a team on and off the pitch,” said Gasitene.
Saturday: Ngezi Platinum 0, Black Rhinos 1; Chicken Inn 1, Triangle United 1; Yadah 1, Harare City 1; CAPS United 0, Chapungu 0; ZPC Kariba 1, Bulawayo Chiefs 2; Shabanie Mine 0, Herentals 4; Mutare City 0, Bulawayo City 2; Nichrut 3, Dynamos 0