FOR a long time questions have been raised as to why footballers always opt for the rather predictable route of going into coaching upon retirement instead of aiming for more influential leadership roles in administration.
Generally, after hanging up their boots, most local ex-footballers choose to go into coaching or at times take the game’s less oriented roles.
However, former Warriors and Dynamos forward Edward “Duduza” Sadomba is slowly carving a different path and wants one day to be heavily involved in local football administration.
Sadomba left a lasting legacy on the continent playing for such giants like DeMbare, Al-Hilal (Sudan), Al-Ahly (Benghazi), Al-Ahli (Tripoli), Liga Muculumana (Mozambique) and Bidvest Wits (South Africa).
The 37-year-old also had a short stint with Al-Ittihad Kalba in the United Arab Emirates top flight.
Having spent most of his career in North Africa, Sadomba now appreciates the level of professionalism and strong administration employed by these top continental clubs.
This has translated into success both on the field and on the commercial front for North African teams while the rest of the continent plays second fiddle.
And for Sadomba, it is this exposure which he hopes to use and help local football rise from its current deathbed.
“It’s more to do with passion, I feel my passion lies in administration,” Sadomba told the Daily News on Sunday.
“I’ve learnt a lot from North African teams; how they do their business which even explains their success on the continent.
“They are very professional in terms of everything they do be it marketing, branding, advertising and all.
“Having spent significant time playing there, it’s something that I told myself I should also strive to do one day when I hang my boots. I have a certificate with the Institute of Commercial Management (ICM) and I’m currently studying with a local institution as well.”
Zimbabwean teams are struggling both on the sporting side and on the commercial front due to a lack of foresight and ambition from the game’s leadership.
No local team has won the African Champions League or the Confederation Cup with only DeMbare reaching the final of the former in 1998.
Bulawayo Chiefs, who were promoted to the top flight in 2018, is the only local team with a club shop which was recently opened.
The outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) has left local teams in a difficult financial position as there are no games taking place since March.
With most teams relying on gate takings to finance their overheads and contractual obligations, many clubs are now on the brink of folding.
Sadomba feels if the local game had put in place the relevant structures like their North African counterparts; it would have been easy to mitigate the financial losses brought about by Covid-19.
“Personally, I feel football administrators should be robust in their approach to football.
“Sport and football, in particular, have become a huge business and the sooner we realise that the better,” he said.
“Players need to be educated to take football as a profession and not a hobby.
“That’s where it starts and the moment we do that the better. I’m fortunate to be where I am today because those clubs I played for, gave us career guidance and it shaped me a lot.
“We used to have people who would come and give advice on investments.
“For instance, when you were earning US$20 000 those people would tell you to spend only US$5 000 and invest the remaining US$15 000.
“It might sound difficult but it pays in the long run. It’s some of the things that I feel we should start to think about to improve our game. I believe as a country, we have a lot of potential but we need to do the right things for us to succeed as a football nation.”
Sadomba, who grew up in the underprivileged and maligned suburb of Mbare, horned his skills at the now-defunct Agatha Shaneti Soccer Academy before going on to play for Harare United.
From there, he was signed by South African side Maritzburg United in 2004 and spent two years with the club before returning to Zimbabwe to play for DeMbare in 2006.
After leading DeMbare to the 2007 title and the semi-finals of the African Champions League the following year, Sadomba signed for Wits and was immediately loaned to Muculumana in Mozambique.
He spent less than a year in Maputo before he attracted the attention of Al-Hilal and signed for the Sudanese giants in 2009 to begin his romance with North African football.
The former Warriors star is adored in Sudan where he spent most of his productive years on the pitch.
After hanging up his boots at the end of last year following a swansong season with DeMbare, Sadomba has teamed up with local agent George Deda in a move designed to create opportunities for Zimbabwean players.
“I have also been involved in juniors and have sponsored a number of junior tournaments in Mbare where I grew up for the past 10 years,” Sadomba said.
“We are working on something big, very soon you will start to see young local players being exported to some serious teams in Africa as well as in Europe. We will release all the information when everything is in place.”