Phiri headed for BDF XI exit

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  • Coach given 44 days leave
  • Managemet divided on coach

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

Zambian gaffer Anderson Phiri could become the latest coaching casualty, with reports reaching this publication suggesting that the former Power Dynamos coach could headed for exit at BDF XI, less than 12 months in charge of the club.

Phiri joined the military side early last year, which saw the then coach, Letang Kgengwenyane relegate to assistant coach alongside Luis Setshwane. This season, the club’s form has improved and are currently fifth (5th) on the log, 10 points behind leaders Township Rollers. Matebele are also into the semi finals of this season’s Mascom Top 8.

However according to the latest reports from within the Matebele camp, the coach has not returned back to work in the new year, and it remains unclear if he will return to resume his duties.

“The team returned back from the break last week, but the coach is not with the team. The team is currently under Rasta (Kgengwenyane) and Setshwane, and we are not too sure if the coach will return,” said a source at the club.

“We understand that he is currently on leave, and will be back on February 11. His leave is 44 days, which we find strange. The team has crucial games coming up in both the league and Top 8, but head coach is still on leave,” the source questioned the club’s decision.

It is also understood that the management of the club is also divided over the coach, with some holding the believe that Kgengwenyane and Setshwane have been more influential to the team’s performance compared to the their head coach.

“The management is divided, some feel that Lui and Rasta are working very hard and more closely with the team, with the coach only coming in to assist on a few aspects,” further alluded the informer.

When reached for comment, BDF Public Relations Officer (PRO) Patrick Mfaladi confirmed that the coach has been given an extended leave and is expected back next month.

“Yes, it is true he has not returned back for duty. We have given him an extended leave, which was an agreement between the two parties. The team remains in the capable hands of Kgengwenyane and Setshwane until he returns,” said the PRO.

He also went on to deny that the club could be parting ways with the Zambian coach. “No, we are not parting with the coach, it is just an extended leave. We are happy with the coach’s progress, so far so good. We have made it clear with him that we want to win some silverware this season. The Mascom Top 8 is our best shot, we also want to finish at least as league runners up,” he added.

He in conclusion revealed that the team will not be making any new additions in this transfer period, stating that they have a squad which they believe is equally competitive as the rest of the top sides in the country.