The Sunday Mail
DESPITE many local football coaches having passed through his hands, Nelson Matongorere remains grounded in humility.
Such is his modesty that the former ZIFA technical director is among the backroom staff of Lloyd Chitembwe’s coaching department at Harare City.
Yet the 66-year-old – considered the godfather of coaching development in the country – commands huge respect in both local football and Confederation of African Football (CAF) corridors.
He is a certified instructor of the continental football body.
It is against the background of his vast experience and the humility with which he carries himself that the ZIFA Northern Region board led by Harare business executive Martin Kweza recently appointed him to head their key development committee.
Kweza and his team believe the Northern Region has a lot to contribute to the growth of football in Zimbabwe beyond just the Division One champions who get promoted to the Premiership at the start of every season.
Matongorere gladly accepted the appointment, which he feels gives him another window of opportunity to do what he loves best — develop local football.
With more than three decades of service to the game, the tall and burly instructor looks back to his journey with a wry smile.
Matongorere has somewhat been unfortunate not to be accorded hero status nor the respect his contribution to local football deserves. But such has been the fate that has befallen a number of men such as Gibson Homela, Barry Daka, Bob Lines, Vernon Bowers (all late) and Benedict “Grinder’’ Moyo, who, like Matongorere, have invested a lot of their time in the trenches, identifying and developing coaches.
“I think it’s almost thirty years now since I began to be a football coaching instructor.
“It has been an interesting journey, since I am someone who is passionate about football development,” he said.
He considers his latest appointment by the Northern Region an honour.
“I want to thank God for the appointment; it is quite an honour from the ZIFA Northern Region to appoint me as the head of the technical and development committee for the region.
“Football development is my passion, so when I was approached by the Northern Region, I did not hesitate to avail myself for the job.”
He will work together with former Dynamos coach Lloyd Chigowe in setting up developmental structures in the region.
“We have been tasked with setting up developmental leagues for the region.
“The setting up of the league will see us developing coaches while we also set up youth leagues around the region.”
Matongorere, who is currently working as technical director at Premiership side Harare City, believes the interim position of technical director of the ZIFA Northern Region will accord him a chance to do what he loves best.
“I have always enjoyed football development and developing coaches.
“Like I said before, if you are to look at the current crop of players in the league, you will realise that almost every coach has passed through my hands. It is something I enjoy and I hope this opportunity will help to develop more coaches in the region.’’
He revealed how happy he was to see most of his protégés succeeding.
“You have my coach here Lloyd Chitembwe (Harare City) winning the league title, Mapeza leading the national team, Pasuwa winning the league both here and outside, just to mention a few.
“Seeing coaches that have passed through my hands succeeding gives me much pleasure and the drive to continue in this line of trade.”