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Unknown German, Italian coaches interested in Warriors job

by Staff reporter
28 Jan 2022 at 05:56hrs | Views
THE vacant Warriors' job has attracted interest from as far afield as Germany and Italy after about four European football coaches threw their names in the hat.

ZIFA are expected to advertise the job following the expiry of Norman Mapeza's short-term contract. But it has since emerged that former Juventus midfielder Ivano Bonetti and German coaches Stefan Boeger, Jan-Philipp Rose and Dietmar Hirsch have shown their interests in working with the Zimbabwe national senior football team.

The quartet, however, do not have experience with African football, having spent most of their careers at the helm of clubs in the lower tiers of football in Germany and Italy.

Goalkeeper's coach Claudio Bozzini, who worked with the Zambia national team some 10 years ago, is interested in the goalkeeping department.

ZIFA head of secretariat, Xolisani Gwesela, however told The Herald that the association is yet to put in motion the recruitment processes.

The coaches are understood to be interested in working with the Warriors under the same arrangement that brought another German expatriate, the late Reinhard Fabisch, in the early 1990s.

Bonetti, whose elder brother Dario helped Zambia to a successful 2012 AFCON qualifying campaign, is keen to make his own memories.

The 57-year-old is a former footballer with 18 years professional experience. He started off his career in his hometown with Brescia, whose club is currently in the Italian Serie B.

He made appearances for several clubs in Italy in both Serie A and Serie B, most notably Juventus, Sampdoria, Bologna and Brescia.

He also turned out for Genoa, Atalanta, Torino and Sestrese as well as spells in England with Tranmere Rovers and Crystal Palace.

In 2000, he was appointed player/manager of Scottish Premier League side Dundee where he remained for two years before being appointed director of football of Lega Pro Prima Divisione club AS Pescina Valle del Giovenco, where he remained until 2010.

However, he does not have previous coaching experience in Africa.

The other coaches also have experience as former footballers, and among them Hirsch who played for German Bundesliga side Borussia M├Ânchengladbach and FC Hansa, who have since been relegated to third tier.

Hirsch is currently the manager at Hamburg-based club, Teutonia 05, and they play in the Germany fourth tier.

The other candidate, Boeger, also has vast experience in the lower leagues in Germany and has national team experience with the Germany Under-17 side between 2008 and 2014.

Boeger also worked in China as youth head coach at Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC before returning home for stints at Dynamo Dresden, VfB L├╝beck, Hansa Rostock Under-23 and Hamburger SV Under-23.

Goalkeeper's coach, Bozzini, said he was ready for new challenges in Africa, having had a stint with Chipolopolo 10 years ago.

Bozzini played in Italian first, second and third division for more than 15 years with several clubs that include Inter Milan, Como FC, Ravenna and many others.

He was part of the Zambian national team's coaching staff that qualified for the 2012 AFCON tournament, under the guidance of compatriot Dario Bonetti.

"I'm an Italian qualified Goalkeeper Coach. I have over 20 years' experience working with elite, youth and amateur players. I have worked in Italy, Scotland, Hungary, Romania, USA, South Africa, Zambia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and UAE. "As Goalkeeper Coach to achieve the best efficiency and outcome, I have a strong preference for sharing the ideas of the head coach in order to organise the most functional and efficient trainings for the goalkeepers.

"I believe that the goalkeeper must be involved as much as possible in the tactics of the team and he must know and believe in the idea of the Head Coach.

"Along the years I had the chance to work with top-ranking international goalkeepers and many of them had the chance to play in their respective national teams," said Bozzini in his CV.

ZIFA are set to put in motion the recruitment processes to hire a substantive coach to fill the vacancy in the national team coaching set-up following the lapse of Norman Mapeza's contract.

Mapeza has been working on an interim basis since September last year, filling the void left by the sacking of under-performing expatriate coach, Zdravko Logarusic.

Initially, he was supposed to take care of the last four 2022 World Cup qualifying games which ended in November last year but the contract was extended further to cover the AFCON finals in Cameroon.

ZIFA's acting head of secretariat, Gwesela, yesterday confirmed the expiry of Mapeza's contract.

"Mapeza's contract was for this tournament. It was an interim arrangement that was made between him and ZIFA and I can confirm the contract ended at the tournament.

"However, it might sound too early now for me to comment further. We will advise the nation of the way forward at the appropriate time," said Gwesela.

Members of his technical team, which comprised assistants Taurayi Mangwiro, Mandla Mpofu and goalkeepers' trainer Energy Murambadoro, are also set to return to club business.

The appointment of the Warriors technical team should be one of the priorities for ZIFA ahead of a busy calendar. The  Warriors have suffered big blows in the last few years and the team needs a competitive technical team comprising coaches with a proven track record.

However, ZIFA have always maintained that they cannot afford some of the best coaches available because of their poor financial standing.

The association has to find ways to come up with an attractive package to lure the best football brains. The experiment that saw the hiring of "affordable" foreign characters like Loga should not be repeated.

Source - the herald