I’M NOT YET READY FOR WARRIORS SAYS PETER
Peter Ndlovu has ruled himself out of reckoning for the vacant of Warriors coaching post, saying he is not yet ready to take over the reins in this high pressure job.
The Warriors coaching job remains vacant following the departure of Callisto Pasuwa in February and ZIFA have been appointing coaches on an ad hoc basis and for each particular assignment. Since Pasuwa’s departure, which came after Zimbabwe’s early exit at the African Cup of Nations in Gabon, the Warriors have had Norman Mapeza, Sunday Chidzambwa and Wilson Mutekede presiding over their assignments.
Mapeza guided the Warriors to a fine 3-0 victory over Liberia in their opening 2019 Nations Cup qualifier. Warriors’ history-making coach Chidzambwa then took charge when the senior team won the COSAFA Castle Cup for a record fifth time. The veteran coach, however, suffered a reverse when the Warriors were bundled out of the African Nations Championships by Namibia in the first round.
With both Mapeza and Chidzambwa tied up with club commitments at FC Platinum and ZPC Kariba, ZIFA assigned their technical director Mutekede to take charge of the Warriors in their friendly matches away to Lesotho and Namibia.
Now ZIFA are back in the hunt for the man to lead the remainder of their Nations Cup campaign and Ndlovu’s name has been thrown into the hat along with that of former goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar. There have also been strong indications that ZIFA were mulling giving Pasuwa another chance t0 coach the team.
Ndlovu who was guest of honour at the Castle Soccer Stars awards said although he was aware of the overtures about the possibility of him being appointed to the Warriors technical department he was not yet ripe for the job. The Mamelodi Sundowns team manage remains a popular figure with the fans, long after he hung up his boots. But Ndlovu is aware that coaching is a different ball game and insisted he would not be swayed by populism to rush to accept such a responsibility.
Ndlovu briefly worked as Rahman Gumbo’s assistant in the Warriors but poured cold water on a quick return to the senior team set-up.
“I have prepared very well but I am not yet ready that is all I can say, I am still preparing well not only (to be the national team coach) but to be a very good coach. It is not (supposed to be) by popular demand because it is the harder you fall if you come in by popular demand. What I am saying is that I have to be ready when called, I have to do things properly but I am preparing for the good time to come. It is not like because you are Peter Ndlovu you have achieved and you can coach, no, the preparation has to be good.
“(When called) we will consider a lot of things I normally sit down with my family and we agree to things,” said Ndlovu. Ndlovu — a pillar of the Dream Team together with stars such as Grobbelaar, Agent Sawu and the late Francis Shonhayi — further cemented his position as the greatest Warrior of all-time when he led the nation to two editions of the African Cup of Nations in 2004 and 2006.
The legendary former Warriors skipper, however, said his loyalty to Zimbabwe remained intact and that he would always encourage younger players to play for the national team including Khama Billiat.
“I also want to put some things right, Zimbabwe comes first for me, and my country comes first. If there is a situation at Sundowns that needs Khama Billiat to choose where he plays when he is fit I will tell him to come and play for Zimbabwe,” Ndlovu said.
Should he eventually take up coaching on a full time basis, Peter would have travelled the same route with his elder siblings — Madinda and the late Adam. Madinda, has had stints with Highlanders, Black Mambas, and different Botswana clubs where he has performed admirably.
The former winger also took charge of the Warriors, albeit without much success while Adam whose life was cut short following a horrific car accident near Victoria Falls in 2014 was coaching Chicken Inn at the time of his death.