Rhinos coach praises Mudadi

HARARE - Black Rhinos coach Herbert Maruwa is pleased by the improvement of midfielder Donald Mudadi’s disciplinary record.

The Chauya Chipembere midfield enforcer has only picked up a single caution in the 20 Castle Lager Premiership matches thus far.

This is a marked improvement from Mudadi’s debut season in the top flight last year when he picked up 12 yellow cards and two red cards.

The 22-year-old holding midfielder was a gem to watch last season but was then disqualified from a place on the Soccer Stars of the Year calendar due to his poor disciplinary record.

After replacing Stanford “Stix” Mutizwa at the start of the 2018 season, Maruwa made it his number one priority to work with Mudadi on decreasing the number of cautions he was receiving.

“At the start of the year, I sat down with Donald and I had a frank discussion with him regarding the issue of the many cards he got last season,” Maruwa told the Daily News.

“As a holding midfielder, I told him that he needed to be more calm and not to be reckless when going into tackles. We are an army team and we need to lead by example when it comes to discipline.

“Those many cards last season cost him dearly because he deserved to be on the Soccer Star calendar. Even the national team coaches were overlooking him because of that poor discipline record.”

Maruwa believes the move had worked but Mudadi reverted back to his usual mode during the pre-season.

“At first it worked but I soon realised that he was getting reckless again during our pre-season friendly matches,” the youthful coach said.

“I had another frank discussion with him again and told him that he would not go far if he continued playing like that.

“If he hoped to play football abroad one day, then he needed to change his methods. I also wanted to build my team around him.

“I’m glad he took my advice and he has played in all our 20 matches so far and only got his first yellow card so far in Week 17 against Ngezi Platinum Stars.

“As a coach, I’m happy for him because he has improved on that front and has also maintained the high standards we expect from him in terms of retaining possession and initiating our attacks.”

After going for 10 matches without defeat, Rhinos’ bubble finally burst when they lost 2-1 to Yadah FC at the National Sports Stadium last weekend.

That defeat left the army side in eighth place on the log with 29 points from 20 matches.

“It was a good run; we managed to go for 10 games without a defeat and it’s unfortunate we could not win in our last match,” Maruwa said.

“We are not putting our heads down because of that defeat though.

“We will keep on working hard and hope to collect maximum points in our next match against CAPS United.”

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