Madinda Ndlovu: goal scoring winger producer?

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Township Rollers coach Madinda Ndlovu is renowned for producing goal-scoring wingers in the last three seasons. Prolific wingers have led his sides in recent years; Joel Mogorosi and Galabgwe Moyana are some examples of his tenure at Mochudi Centre Chiefs. His club captain, Sekhana Koko, is the latest player to benefit from the Zimbabwean tactician’s wing-play philosophy.

Madinda was also a winger during his playing days, having been a right-winger for Highlanders and the Zimbabwean national team where he amassed 86 caps and close to 15 goals. He revealed that his performances attracted the attention of English club Sheffield Wednesday who were close to signing him in 1985. According to Ndlovu, he underwent a three-month trial at the club but his club’s demand for a £100 000 transfer fee and work permit issues halted the move.

The former Magosi coach explained his approach to motivating his players by saying, “You must identify your player’s strengths and weaknesses and once you have done that, then you can find ways to improve them. Another thing is to avoid restricting them. I always encourage all my players to get into more goal scoring positions regardless of which position they play,” he explained.

He added that, “most wingers who have excelled were not groomed by me but I helped them improve their style of play. My philosophy made them players that are more productive. I usually tell them that they do not only have to be providers, that they can also get their fair share of goals,” continued Ndlovu.  The form of Popa’s star player, Koko, who has accumulated six goals (5 league goals, 1 Mascom Top 8 goal) so far this term, has inspired the recent run of form at the club. His coach has explained that the winger has been deployed in a free role this term, which has been key in his impressive performances.

“I signed him from UF Santos during my first spell here as I had spotted something in him, but my departure back then meant that our working relationship was cut short. Fortunately we have been reunited. We have instructed him to play in a free role and that will improve his influence in games. The role has enabled him to be the catalyst of all our attacking moves and he is enjoying it and his goal tally justifies his happiness in that position,” explained the Popa coach.

During his stint at Chiefs, Ndlovu helped wingers Mogorosi and Moyana to become some of the league’s highest scoring players in the last two years. Mogorosi scored 26 league goals to become the joint top scorer in the domestic league during the 2011/12 season. Moyana followed suit by scoring 13 league goals, ending the season as the highest scoring winger in local football last season.

Meanwhile, Madinda listed Phenyo Mongala, Thapelo Balepi and Mogorosi as the best wingers he has ever coached in Botswana. He singled out Mongala as being at the top of his list, explaining that “Mongala is a skilful and silky player. When he first came to prominence he was a player who had no end product; he only focused on being a crowd pleaser. That had to be corrected, so he learned how to beat defenders and became a more productive player. His moves abroad have proved that he has fulfilled his potential.”