Open letter to Magaya

HARARE - Dear Walter Magaya

When the 2017 Castle Lager Premiership season started, your team Yadah FC was a breath of fresh air in its debut season in Zimbabwe’s top flight.

Yadah were doing particularly well after an opening goalless draw with Harare City, a 1-0 win over ZPC Kariba, another goalless draw with Tsholotsho followed by a 1-0 win over Ngezi Platinum Stars.

This was the first time a newly-promoted team in Zimbabwe’s top tier league had not conceded a goal in their opening four matches; a feat last achieved by the star-studded Black Rhinos in 1984.

Winger Leeroy Mavunga was the talk of the town as he ran rings around most defenders he faced in those opening matches.

But just like life, football has its ups and downs. Your team played out a 1-1 draw with Chapungu in their next game before suffering their first loss, going down 1-0 to Dynamos.

This translates into nine points in the first six games and Yadah at one stage were on top of the log after this decent start to life with the big boys.

A lot of teams would have loved to be in the same position as your beloved Yadah side.

Just ask Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo the anguish he’s going through right now since his beloved Tsholotsho FC are without a win after 20 matches and bottom of log.

However, your reaction to the Dynamos loss was surprising as you went on to suspend the entire technical team led by coach Jairos Tapera.

It turned out to be a monumental blunder as Yadah travelled to Bulawayo without Tapera and were ruthlessly thrashed 7-2 by Bantu Rovers.

As a well-travelled and exposed preacher, I expected you to learn from this debacle in Bulawayo which threatened to turn our game into a Mickey Mouse league.

There must have been someone who knocked sense into your head, as you allowed Tapera to come back to work.

Results did not drastically improve but at least there was a semblance of professionalism in the Yadah set-up with the coaches trying to do their best to win matches.

But in your wisdom, you again “suspended” Tapera this week with Yadah travelling to the Baobab Stadium without their coach and they were trounced 4-1 by log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Football is a scientific sport with most teams investing heavily in qualified coaches, who spend numerous hours on the training ground preparing for matches.

I sadly have to educate you that there is nothing spiritual about the world’s most beautiful game.

Of course, most of our coaches and players still believe in juju but truth be told, there is nothing that can beat proper training and sheer hard work. We have been around this game long enough to see another team go down the drain due to the interference of the club owner.

Our game is littered with many club owners whose clubs sank to the ground because of their stubbornness and intrusion into the affairs of the technical team.

Since you are pouring resources into the team, you have every right to feel disappointed with the results your team is achieving but this is not the right way to deal with the matter.

If you feel Tapera is not the right man to guarantee your team’s safety from relegation, you have every right to sack him and look for someone who you think is competent.

There are many coaches who are out of work and can come in to fill the spot that will be vacated by Tapera.

You need to find a coach who has the same vision and drive that saw you build a team from scratch before it rose up the leagues to the premiership.

Once you find that calibre of coach, you need to give him or her carte blanche with the team while you take a back seat and concentrate on the administration side.

You have showed your leadership qualities already by building your Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries (PHD) into one of the most influential churches in the country and beyond the borders.

However, football is a totally different animal and if you are not careful, it can devour you completely.

This is not a rebuke or a malicious attempt to soil your name but just an alert of the pitfalls that lie in wait if you continue with the same trajectory.

Best regards,

Nigel Matongorere.    

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