The Sunday Mail
THE Warriors had hushed up preparations for the Cosafa Castle Cup that gets underway in South Africa today but returning legendary coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa has been impressed by the way ZIFA are conducting their business these days.
The 65-year-old Chidzambwa last sat on the national team bench in 2010 and makes a sensational return to take charge of Zimbabwe’s latest Cosafa campaign.
His temporary appointment took him by surprise, but the ZPC Kariba coach knows it is national duty and he has to offer his expertise.
It was a refreshing feeling for Chidzambwa, after he took charge of the training sessions held between Tuesday and Thursday, with the former Dynamos coach acknowledging that a lot had changed between May 4 2010 when he quit the Warriors job and now.
“It is good to be back in the national team trenches after such a long time but I must say I am impressed with the way ZIFA are doing their business nowadays,” Chidzambwa told The Sunday Mail.
“Unlike back then, when I was in charge, I have discovered that a lot has changed.
“When I was appointed for this duty one of the things I feared was disorganization but truly speaking everything was in place.
“From player contracts, technical team contracts, accommodation everything was arranged prior to the camp.”
Chidzambwa has Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa and former Highlanders gaffer Bongani Mafu as his assistants and the 2004 Afcon qualifying mentor had some special words for his protégée Mutasa.
“You see, Lloyd (Mutasa) has been doing well at Dynamos under difficult conditions.
“He is a very good coach who needs to be appreciated.
“He is level headed and a very intelligent coach.
“We had a good working relationship when I coached him at DeMbare in the 1990s and he is still the same.
“We get along very well,” said Chidzambwa.
Zimbabwe are in Group B alongside Mozambique, Madagascar and Seychelles and begin their campaign tomorrow with a clash against The Mambas of Mozambique at the Moruleng Stadium.
Kickoff is 5PM.
The Warriors then play Madagascar at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Wednesday before completing their group games against Seychelles on June 30.
“Cosafa is not just a tournament, it is an important competition for Zimbabwe given our history in this regional tourney.
“We have assembled a squad with a nice blend of youth and experience so I think we should be in a position to fight all the way to the final,” said Chidzambwa.
The history making coach is the last coach to win the Cosafa Cup, having clinched it on home soil in 2009 when the Warriors beat Zambia 3-1 in the final played at Rufaro on November 1.
Chidzambwa also walked up the Cosafa Cup podium in 2003 after his charges beat Malawi 4-1 on aggregate in a two-legged final.
Zimbabwe are four-time winners of the Cosafa Cup having triumphed in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2009.s.