BULAWAYO – Reigning Castle Lager Premiership champions Chicken Inn yesterday unveiled former Warriors coach Rahman Gumbo as their incoming coach to replace the South Africa-bound Joey Antipas.
Antipas together with his assistant Prince Matore will be joining South African National First Division side Amazulu at the start of July where they have been given a mandate to take the club back to the Absa Premiership.
The well-travelled Gumbo, who has won league championships in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Botswana, is looking forward to the challenge when he takes the reigns at the Gamecocks after Antipas leaves.
“It’s been 15 years since I last coached a Premier League team in Zimbabwe. It’s about what I am going to bring to the local Premiership with the experience I got in the past 15 years,” Gumbo said yesterday.
“I’m one of the most experienced coaches in this country and there are more expectations from me. I’m ready to face the challenge.”
Gamecocks club secretary Tavengwa Hara said Gumbo’s target will be to retain the Premier League title they won last year.
“Our team target is to defend our championship. We have given the new coach the job to continue with the team,” Hara said.
“We give coaches long-term contracts but they have conditions. We give short-term targets and the contract can be reviewed anytime depending on circumstances.”
Gumbo will bring in his own assistant coach and will also work with Julius Ndlovu and Sikhumbuzo Banda, who were part of Antipas’ technical team.
Meanwhile, Antipas has clarified the recent comments he made when comparing Zimbabwean players and those from South Africa.
“I was asked a question on whether there is a difference in Zimbabwean players and South African players, which I explained in my opinion that I believe South African players have more talent and skill while Zim players survive on their hunger for greener pastures because there are not a lot of sponsors like here in SA,” Antipas told the Amazulu website yesterday.
“This was just an opinion not intended to belittle or promote anyone, but one’s view which will be fascinating for me when I begin my work with AmaZulu.”
Antipas missed Chicken Inn’s 1-0 league defeat to Bulawayo City at the weekend after he had travelled to Durban to meet up with his new club.
The former Motor Action coach spent three days in the coastal city and was in attendance at the match when Amazulu lost 1-0 to Milano United at the weekend.
Antipas is already plotting his recruitment for the players he needs to win promotion to the Absa Premiership next season with the KwaZulu Natal side.
“Division One is very tough, that’s how it is in Zimbabwe and I believe it’s the same here in the first division, you need soldiers,” he said.