Zimbabwe’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League is expected to kick off early next month with some clubs having new coaches.
All the top three clubs in the country - Dynamos, Highlanders and Caps United - have changed coaches who are walking a tight rope as they seek to please their teams’ ardent supporters.
Last season a number of coaches, among them, Moses Chunga of Chiredzi, Pilani Ncube of How Mine, Arthur Tutani of Black Rhinos, Gishon Ntini of Triangle, and Kelvin Kaindu of Highlanders, failed to last the distance after they were sacked during the course of the season.
Gone is Kalisto Pasuwa at Dynamos and in his place is David Mandigora. Mandigora knows he will be under immense pressure as his predecessor won four consecutive league titles.
Highlanders too have brought in Bongani Mafu to replace caretaker coach, Mark Mathe. The team did not perform to expectations last season after finishing without a silverware.
Mafu has been rebuilding the flagging Bulawayo giants and so far he thinks everything is going according to his plans.
Caps United parted ways with Taurayi Mangiwro who has crossed the floor to Harare City. Mangwiro, who left after a series of fallouts with his club’s supporters, has been replaced by Englishman Mark Harrison.
Harrison claims he is not going for the league title this season but to build for the future, something that the club’s supporters have refused to accept in the past.
Change in coaches also means new players. All the three clubs have been on the transfer market to beef up their squads for the season.
The only top club that has not changed coaches is FC Platinum but the miners will also be under pressure as they will be campaigning on two fronts.
The Midlands side is representing Zimbabwe in the CAF Confederation Cup while at the same time hope to make an impression on the domestic league.
The Premier Soccer League have announced that the domestic season will kick off on the first day of March.