Madinda Ndlovu and Amini Soma-Phiri are the front runners to take over the vacant Highlanders coaching seat following Erol Akbay’s departure.
By Fortune Mbele
Ndlovu, who is currently attached in Botswana, has been the number one choice, but sources have said the coach has made demands that the club is unwilling to meet.
This has opened up avenues for Soma-Phiri to make a sensational return to the technical team, this time as the head.
Highlanders have made it clear that they want one of their former players to take over the coaching job, which limits their choice to about five coaches who meet the minimum requirements of at least a Caf A coaching badge.
Madinda Ndlovu, Rahman Gumbo, Soma-Phiri and national Under-20 coach Bekithemba Ndlovu all meet the basic requirements.
Gumbo, who won the league title with Bosso, will be a free agent at the end of the month as his contract with Chicken Inn is almost out.
Chicken Inn have been apprehensive of the Gumbo links to Highlanders and have put the ball squarely in the coach’s court, asking him to say whether he wants to continue with the former champions.
The club is already looking at restoring Joey Antipas, who won the league title with the team before he moved to South Africa.
Highlanders secretary Nhlanhla Dube yesterday said that a coach would be in place before Christmas, but
maintained that they had not yet settled for anyone.
“We are still in the process. I am sure after next week, we will be done with the selection,” he said.
Last week, he revealed that the club would be considering only Highlanders’ sons.
“We want to do it (appointment of the coach) before the pre-season starts because this is the time when players move. It will be a process and not an event, but by the time pre-season starts it will be done. There is a resolution by members to go Highlanders and you will count on your fingers the Highlanders sons that meet the Zifa standards,” Dube said.
If Soma-Phiri gets the job, it will not be the first time he goes to the Bosso helm after a short stint in 2015 together with Cosmas Zulu, where they helped the team lift itself after flirting in the relegation zone.
Soma-Phiri resigned as assistant coach in August after Akbay had accused him of sabotage.
He had survived a disciplinary charge of misconduct together with Zulu, who was demoted to the juniors.