A ‘Supa’ warning to new coach

FORMER Sables coach Cyprian “Supa” Mandenge warns that Peter de Villiers will find it hard to deliver if the Zimbabwe Rugby Union does not change the way it does business.

ZRU chairman Aaron Jani is confident that with former Springboks coach De Villiers in charge, the national team will become a force. But Mandenge reckons Jani and his team put the cart before the horse.

“While I understand that Aaron and his guys are still new and will need time to get their footing, I do not appreciate how they have gone about their business so far,” he said. “For one, there were no exit interviews to try and find out our thoughts, experiences and challenges. There is need to understand that no man is perfect and for us to grow, the support and active participation from every stakeholder, past and present, will be needed.

“When they advertised the post for the Sables job, I sent in my application for the job and was immediately rejected without a second thought. This despite the fact that I am one of a handful of people with a Level 3 coaching certificate and arguably amongst the most qualified.”

The 42-year-old Eaglesvale High School gaffer is bitter and makes no effort to hide it. “I know that many people are probably going to write me off as bitter man and to be honest I am bitter,” said Mandenge. “The thing is people will just concentrate on the results and not really try to find out the reasons behind the poor performances.

“Our Gold Cup campaign last year, from the onset, had no chances of success as I lacked support from the union. I came up with a programme that highlighted the need for a comprehensive technical team and identified guys like Daniel Hondo as assistant coach, Grant Mitchell for strength and conditioning and Godwin Murambiwa.

“Unfortunately, my plea either fell on deaf ears or very little was done to bring them on board,” he said.

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  • Kudakwashe KD Mwakusha

    From my own analysis as a Rugby supporter ,Selection in Zimbabwe have been based on merit and not performance. Off-course we can mention aspectS such as support as setbacks but l hugely think selection had a lot to do with support (Whatever form of support Mandenge is referring to) .We lost almost all of the teams we played against.Its high time to try new blood.#We have a huge base of talented players.