- Contract expires end of season
- Makhwengwe under pressure at GU
Township Rollers coach Rodolfo Zapata has been tipped to replace under fire Philemon Makhwengwe at Gaborone United. Zapata’s contract with Township Rollers will expire at the end of theseason.
Makhgwengwe was appointed to lead the Reds on a two year deal late last year, taking over from Stephen Maphosa who has been relegated to assistant coach. Despite being able to lift the club from their early battle with relegation, results have been hard to come by in recent weeks.
Moyagoleele (as the club is affectionately known in the local footballing circles) are yet to win a game in the new year. The team is currently outside the the Top 8 bracket and are also the brink of exiting the Mascom Top 8 following their first leg loss to Rollers over the weekend. This is said to have placed Makhwengwe under increasing pressure from the management as well as supporters.
Those close to the former Mpumalang Black Aces coach say GU have made a move on the ‘unsettled’ Zapata and it is believed that the coach is open to rejoin the Reds.
“Zapata still loves GU, and he has had numerous interactions recently with Zac over coming back to GU. He is willing to come back and continue where he left off. He still has somewhat of unfinished business at GU,” said a source. Gazette Sport also understands that GU have already paid some of the money they owed Zapata and it is for this reason that he feels he can go back to GU.
Reached for comment, GU chairman Boitumelo Nsunge dismissed the reports stating that Makhwengwe has the full backing of his management.
“We have a coach. So we do not know where you are getting that from. We have a two year contract with Rre Makhwengwe and it is our intention to see him see off his contract with the club,” said Nsunge
“When we appointed Rre Makhwengwe, his mandate was to help us get out of the relegation battle, which he has done. Now he has to get us into the top 8, that is his mandate.”
“As far as I am concerned about Zapata, he is at Township Rollers and we have not shown any interest in him,”concluded the GU chairman.
The news linking Zapata to GU comes just a week later after Rollers dismissed reports that the club’s technical team has been rocked by divisions since the appointment of new coach Zapata. Reports suggest that Zapata’s relationship with his coaching staff has gone from bad to worse in recent weeks.
“We are unaware of such, or maybe should I say it has not come to our attention. We believe that our technical team is pulling in one direction and we take those reports to be untruthful,” said Rollers PRO Bafana Pheto.
“Zapata is our coach until the end of the season. His mandate is to win the Mascom Top 8 and the league, and then we can start discussing the future at the end of the season,” he ended.
Rollers are believed to have begun the search of a new coach, however Pheto has also denied this.