Home » Sports » Let’s Take a Bow for King Saul

THE decision to give Saul Chaminuka the Coach of the Year award has sharply divided opinion in this country. There are some who feel Callisto Pasuwa deserved the award for winning the league title and leading the Glamour Boys to their fourth successive league title.

I believe if Pasuwa had won the award, there would still be controversy.

Others are even throwing CAPS United gaffer Taurai Mangwiro’s name into the mix on the back of his brave third-place finish that is, somehow, not appreciated by some pockets of the club’s fans.

I believe Chaminuka is a deserving winner and should enjoy his place in the sun.

It is important to remember that ZPC Kariba’s brave run in the Premiership was against the background of the team’s debut season in the top-flight league.

Soccer pundits and fans expected the team to be one of the relegation candidates.

But Chaminuka assembled a team, largely made up of veterans in the twilight of their careers, and journeyman players who had endured quiet careers for various clubs.

Saul’s ability as a coach ensured that he managed to galvanise these players to form a team that transformed itself from relegation candidates to worthy contenders for the crown.

A star-studded Black Rhinos of 1984 won the championship straight from Division One and ZPC Kariba nearly emulated that great team.

A quick comparison of the personnel in the two teams will highlight Chaminuka’s achievements.

While Rhinos was had quality players like Japhet M’parutsa, Hamid Dhana and Stanley Ndunduma, Chaminuka did not have the luxury of such players.

Instead, he inspired his average players to make an unprecedented clean sweep of the top three Soccer Stars of the Year awards.

The Coach of the Year is designed for the coach who excels in the league championship.

Other trophies fall outside the portfolio of this award.

The team that wins the league championship will not necessarily provide the Coach of the Year although he will, naturally, be a g contender for the award.

Pasuwa received his medal for being part of the best team in the country on the day Dynamos won the Castle Premier Soccer League.

No one can take that away from him.

The Coach of the Year is a different award altogether.

That is why there is a panel of selectors who choose the Coach of the Year.

It is a well known fact that most teams, the world over, perform better when they are playing at home.

One of the reasons put forward to explain this widespread trend is that all creatures have an inborn penchant for protecting their own territory.

In addition, home support is also a vital cog in the performance of a football team as the fans will cheer their players to punch above their weight.

The home team also has the aantage of playing in a familiar environment.

It is hard to imagine the gruelling trips, which certainly led to fatigue, which ZPC Kariba undertook as they played all their games away from home.

And it is remarkable that they ran Dynamos so close under such aerse conditions.

Pasuwa became the first coach to win four consecutive leagues title on the trot.

This is, indeed, a remarkable achievement which will prove very difficult to emulate, let alone surpass.

Unfortunately, this achievement falls outside the consideration for the Coach of the Year award.

Over the last four years when Pasuwa was in charge of Dynamos, no team was able to take all six points from Dynamos.

Chaminuka’s team scored a double over DeMbare in their league meetings.

Saul Chaminuka’s performance over the course of the season reminds me of an old traditional song that we used to sing in primary school entitled “Chaminuka Ndimambo”.

Terrence Chikorowondo can be contacted on the following platforms: email: terrencechikorowondo@gmail.com, WhatsApp 077 3 261 118.

Source : The Herald