Madinda Ndlovu and The Third Season Syndrome


Madinda Ndlovu is a serial winner, success follows him almost everywhere he goes, the Zimbabwean gaffer is the most successful coach in Botswana football in the last six years with three league titles and one knock-out cup with three different clubs. He is the first foreign coach to win three successive league titles, including back to back league triumphs with two different clubs.
Ndlovu’s trophy laden spell in recent years started in the 2011/2012 season, he took charge of a Mochudi Centre Chiefs team that had not won the league since 2008. He delivered the league in his first season and repeated his heroics the following season (2012/2013).
He then joined Township Rollers and won the 2013/2014 league title, before his arrival the club had been struggling for two seasons and had finished eighth. At Orapa United he won the 2016 Mascom Top 8, becoming the first coach in Orapa United’s history to win a trophy.
Despite his undeniable success, the experienced tactician has developed an unwanted trend of not having success or not being in charge in his third season. Normally his first season delivers a trophy but the cracks start to show in the second season and that ultimately sets the tone for what transpires in the third season.
At Chiefs he won the 2011/2012 comfortably with a 20 point gap ahead of second placed BMC. During the 2012/2013 season his Chiefs side struggled at times especially with the burden of playing in the CAF Champions League, they eventually won the title but they won the league seven points ahead of their nearest rivals, demonstrating that the second season was not as comfortable as the previous one.
Although he had won back to back league titles, a contract stand-off saw him leave Chiefs after only two seasons. During his Rollers spell he delivered the league title in his first year and he also reached the Mascom Top 8 final.
The second season was less successful as his club underperformed in the league, he eventually resigned towards the end of the season, as a result a third season spell did not occur. At his latest club, Orapa, he enjoyed success in his first season with the Top 8 title, the second season was less successful as he lost the Mascom Top 8 final against Jwaneng Galaxy.
The 2017/2018 season was the first time he had been in charge of a club in the third season in recent years, however, a slow start to the current season has seen him leave Orapa after only eight games. This has proved that the decorated coach has an unwanted track record of not having longevity at a single club.