Monday, March 26, 2012

In their own words: Emmett Ndlovu.

eDiski: Hello Mr Ndlovu.

Emmett: Hie Soccer Diski.

e-Diski: Long time. How is life and family?

Emmett: Sure. Well thanks. My family is ok.

e-Diski: Tell me more about them.

Emmett: Oh, yes.  I have a wife and was blessed with 3 boys and a cute girl.

e-Diski: What are you doing now?

Emmett: Currently not active in football.

e-Diski: So what do you do now?

Emmett: I'm into sportswear distribution and part time farming, especially cattle breeding.

e-Diski: What was your last post/position in football?

Emmett: I was Bantu Rovers General Manager.

e-Diski: And before that?

Emmett: I was the last Acting Bosso CEO doubling up as Team Manager.

e-Diski: How do you think you fared?

Emmett:  As Bosso manager, we won the championship on my 1st year in 2007, and then we were runners up 2008.

e-Diski: That was the highlights of your tenure?

Emmett: No doubt.

e-Diski: Things were different at Tshintsha Guluva ….

Emmett: Of course but at Bantu Rovers l helped the team survive relegation in 2010.

e-Diski: Which was great. If you got the same posts back, what would you do different?

Emmett: Do more PR (public relations) and try to look beyond the playing part of the game. I would work on the harmonization of all structures and stakeholders to help the institution to grow.

e-Diski: What do you think of the incumbent office bearers?

Emmett: My belief is that ‘kusinwa kudedelwana.’

e-Diski: Meaning?

Emmett:  We all must give all our support to the guys in office now until the button stick is handed over, but l strongly believe one day, if given a chance, l'll prove to be one of the best administrators because of my 20 years of being involved in football matters in various roles.

e-Diski: What do you think the organisation needs to be a better entity?

e-Diski: What role do you think you can play in the current set-up?

Emmet: My door is open if anyone thinks I can be useful to them, anytime.

e-Diski: What is your next move?

Emmett: Like I said, I am making myself available for the utilisation of my experience under different leaderships and economic environments.

e-Diski: What do you think other people can do to help the organisation?

Emmett: They are doing well under the circumstances but I believe they can do much better.

e-Diski: What was your memorable moment?

Emmett: As I said, I will always cherish winning the championship on my first year as Bosso manager.

e-Diski: What was the regrettable moment?

Emmett: How l was left out of that great institution when l wasn't feeling well.

e-Diski: What did you do?

Emmett: l moved over to Bantu to earn a living. I was viewed as a traitor and people never got to know the truth.

e-Diski: What was the truth?

Emmett: For the respect of fellow football professionals, I will skip that one.

e-Diski: Fair enough. Who were your best people to work with?

Emmett: On the technical side, it was (Ernest) Maphepha as manager and Rahman as coach. Eish, what a team ... oh by the way, the late Benjie (Moyo) as well as Tse at some stage. That team was a machine. I was the Bosso physio then, and wow!

e-Diski: Hahaha, I’m glad I am on your list, thanks. Who was your toughest challenge?

Emmett: Too many administrative boobies and red tape.

e-Diski: What do you think of the football today?

Emmett: The money is there because there are sponsors. I don't see why we should fail.

e-Diski: Which is the best football team at the moment?

Emmett: Currently Barcelona is the best team.

e-Diski: Are you a Catalan?

Emmett: Oh no.  I support Real Madrid in Spain and Liverpool in the UK, but Barca are just good.

e-Diski: Mmm, that’s sportsmanship. Who is the best player?

Emmett: Lionel Messi, no doubt.

e-Diski: What music do you listen to?

Emmett: Gospel music and nothing else.

e-Diski: Which is your favourite movie?

Emmett: No movies. I don’t believe in fiction. I would rather read my Holy Bible.

e-Diski: Wow. Emms thanks very much for your time and chat, and may God bless.

Emmett: Thank you for your talking to me. Be blessed always.

Emmett Ndlovu was always useful to Highlanders and the national teams of Zimbabwe over extended periods of time spurning over twenty years in different roles. He mainly assumed medical roles but showed leadership qualities as Acting Chief Executive Officer of Tshilamoya and General Manager of Bantu Rovers. Football politics tempered with his potential growth in the game and he hopes to shake it off and play an effective role in the near future. He is a God fearing man.  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The moment of truth

Amongst the many things we have always believed and wanted to believe, wouldn't it be nice for a while to honour up and face the moment of truth? There are simply things that we cannot change, like it or not.

To make it flow better, I will start with the sore truth, though it is like swallowing a complete fully-grown half-matured prickle pear. Tottenham Hotspur are finished. They are not good enough.
Arsenal are back with a bang. This, I was told and deliberately refused to heed. The Gunners tried to convince me that they would be back.

This is as painful as typing that Manchester United are the real deal. It does not matter how they play and who the referee is, they lead the English Premier League. I am not counting out Manchester City out yet, but, why in the world are United on top?

I would have been convinced to say Liverpool are back, but there is so much negativity about the reds. The Suarez stories of racism and their failure to send a 'get well soon' message to Fabrice Muamba on time, if ever the finally did, is one thing, but their blowing hot and cold with the chilling consistency needs mention. Exactly when you think they are back, they are gone.

One performance by their Captain Fantastic made them think they own the world and started the blasphemy that Steve Gerrard is the best ever at Anfield. Well enough and all are forgiven for thinking that since they had forgotten how to play Liverpool. Those who know the game, will tell you that you did not watch the 1980s squad to say that statement. It did not need Liverpool supporters to know John Barnes, Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, Jan Molby, John Aldridge and Bruce Grobelaar among others. Anyway, that's off topic.

Folks, like we have always said about how bad South African was, underlined by Orlando Pirates' loss to Angolan champions, we hereby bow and accept the Barclays Premier League is mediocre. I take a sip of water as I say this, as it does not go down well even with me.

The idea that La Liga is just a two horse race and that the EPL is the real deal, given that the 'minnows' account for the scalps of 'giants' once is a while, and that the race is always decided at the end, is over-rated. How many English teams remain in the Champions League? How many are in the Europa League? Only Chelsea are still in the Champions League.

The English champions are not even good enough for the semis of the European second tier Cup. By contrast, La Liga has two representatives in each and may win both. Real Madrid and Barcelona may even play the final. Valencia and Athletico Madrid may take the Europa.

La Liga boast of the World Player of the Year, and has consistently produced one over time. They have produced more European Champions.

And by the way, another hard one to take for many, Lionel Messi is the greatest player of all time and Manchester City need Carlos Tevez. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thank you God for blessing Muamba

Fabrice Muamba is reported to have laughed with friends and family at the London Chest Hospital. Muamba has been the world-wide football news headlines after he collapsed during the FA Cup match of Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur over the weekend.

Immediate and expert treatment from the onset were key to his current state that is ever improving. Overall, the technology and latest safety arrangement at the stadia in ensuring the availability of doctors and ambulance should be commended. Henceforth, it should be a lesson to have it mandatory for all professional leagues.

Further, it was just days that Barcelona's Eric Abidal was to undergo a liver transplant. Sports medicine checks and procedures are emerging to be very necessary and thorough. They need to be improved and strictly implemented.

For the respect of the Muamba, let us leave it here and wish him not only a quick recovery, but one that will see him take to the field once again. He is already to an inspiration to many and will continue to be in his playing and social life.

Taking heart from Nwankwo Kanu's heart operation over a decade back, we all know it is not impossible. Our prayers also go to the Muamba and Abidal families and friends.

God bless football players.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Orlando Pirates take Kaizer Chiefs to the cleaners in the Soweto Derby

Orlando Pirates took total control of the entertaining Soweto derby, looting thrice the Kaizer Chiefs' treasure trove. The chief culprit was Pirate McCarthy. Benni did it twice on the night. The Pirates 3 - 2 victory over Chiefs saw another Pirate called Andile Jali haunt Chiefs with the third goal.
That brace from McCarthy and goal by Jali catapulted the Happy People up to second place in the ABSA Premier League. Benni McCarthy was the Soweto Derby Man of the Match. Not only was it 'Halakasha' in the 18 area' twice, but his overall performance was inspirational.
The Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs fixture at FNB Stadium has always ranked in the top 10 matches globally in terms of attendance, rivalry and spectacle. It compared well with the El Classicos between Real Madrid and Barcelona of Spain as well as the River Plate versus Boca Juniors in Argentina among others. Chiefs tried their best to match the slick Sea Robbers, managing to chase and catch Ghosts' shadows. 
Lining-up as Moeneb Josephs, Cloete, Nzunga, Rooi Mahamutsa, Siyabonga Sangweni, Tlou Segolela, Ace Manyisa, Jali, Dane Klate, Mabena, McCarthy, Pirates came out all guns blazing and the dry bones came together for a lively evening, giving everyone hope that they may be back in Africa next season.
The Portuguese international Luis Boa Morte, was out due to an injury which is expected to keep him out for up to six weeks. He fractured a bone in his toe during a reserve league match against the Dube birds, Moroka Swallows.
He joine captain Lucky Lekgwathi, Thulasizwe Mbuyane, Talatou Boubacar and Rudolf Beste in the doctor's rooms.
Pirates are back

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chelsea winning, but why now?

From where I am, it is the Masters. Elsewhere, they call them Social, the Legends or Seniors' league. In these leagues, refreshment and rehydration is the dehydrating bottle of beer or alcohol, usually any time and anyhow. There are no rules, well maybe just.

At Stanford Bridge, it would be just the old guard game. Chelsea players carried this tag of 'old guard' over 5 years ago, even during the adored Jose Mourinho's days, and the players have not changed much.

The senior citizens of that squad have been John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole. Managers came and went amid football politics scandals, but the greatest of them all is the latest. It is borne out of how Andre Villas-Boas was always seen an immature choice to start with.

Let us remember how the game of football started. Today's media is littered with the latest football controversy made by an Englishman claiming England owns the game. He has since apologised for it and we will not even try to defend of crucify him. 

Whoever started the game, the objective, centuries before the 150 years in question, was to drive a pig's head across a rival village, which in turn summoned women and children to close down the humiliating and degrading exercise. So you see tactics started way before technique and physical conditioning.

Even where I grew up, generally, boys across the river were enemies, and for lack of stones, dry cow dung made excellent missiles that we used. Despite gushes of blood, I cannot remember a recorded death. It may have been possible that years earlier, there was one.

In later years, the rivalry developed into a football war, for lack of foliage, as trees and vegetation were depleted as the population boom overtook the natural resources.

Forming a team was therefore very crucial. There was no coach or captain. The bigger bullies build two dunes of sand to represent their mothers' breasts. Whoever had the courage to kick and flatten the boobs of his adversary's mom, would be captain-cum-coach, unless a physical retaliatory response ensued. 

The protagonists duelled and the prevailing warrior led us to 'war'. Only the owner of the letter ball was guaranteed a place in his line up, unless we played an aerodynamically inferior paper ball stuffed with rags. 

The game would resume and tackles would be ruthless and brutal. There would be no referee and disputes were easily settled by punches until an adult would turn up and disperse the crowd,usually just for a while. Usually, sensing trouble, both parties would pretend they were cool with each other to escape the possible canning by the village court headman.

What is interesting is that matches would continue after the adult authority left, and week after week, bleeding after bleeding. Members from either camp ensured they never strayed into another's territory unaccompanied.  

This has been the traits of Stanford Bridge. Managers came and went. All they found when they found, was a set of protagonists with heaps of their mom's sand boobs. Roman Abramovic bought hot talent for huge sums of money, usually coming from where they were leaders and idols. 

Among others, Andre Shevshenko and Michael Ballack. These two never came close to their lethal best. Their idea of having the same impact in England as they had in Germany or Italy was but a dream. There is not need to talk about Fernando Torres. 

Many a times, we are at liberty to wonder and speculate. All the managers that came after The Special One could do, was manage the tempers, and usually not, because the group pretended there was harmony. Year in and year out, like a scratched vinyl LP, the situation repeated itself over and over and, of course, with the same result.

Talking my village football situation, Andre Villas-Boas became an adult we would think is young and weak, and we could team against and man-handle, usually successfully if they were young and/or drunk.
AVB was neither. He had lots of football in his head and wanted  to implement intrinsic and analysed technical and tactical methodologies to produce nice and winning football. He wanted to match the dollar investment of Abramovic with the style Chelsea played.

Those closer to the ground thought there was actually TMI (too much information) on his part, or let's say TMT (too much tactics). So, having worked with a renowned shrewd mentor in Mourinho, what he became was part of the package, to be TA (tactically aware). 

Now that AVB is gone, Chelsea found their rhythm in the league. Everyone seems to be gaining an extra inch in distance, extra ounce of energy, extra year in age and shedding an extra gram in weight. Winning thrice in a row, including the advancement in the UEFA Champions League through an extra time Ivanovic goal against Napoli, as a team, they are finding the extra goal. Roberto Di Mateo is the interim manager and his role is to be seen soon.

Again, as we did back then, it never was how much planning was out in the matches that we would win. It was who had the balls, and who picked the team, usually, the old guard. Playing with the set-up on the ground cost AVB his job.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Newspaper to pay Bosso?

A simple newspaper, say The Frolicle, owned by The Lovement, write anything about Wynamos Football Club. Should they give shares or profits to Wynamo? It would be nice to have newspapers pay football teams for printing their stories and especially Highlanders Football Club. That cash would go a long way for the team and that is exactly what Bosso got themselves into.
e-Diski magazine is a simple blog I write to express my very personal views about anything football. I am not a professional or journalist. I have limited time to work at it but I make sure it reaches all of us free. After all, the stories are not researched or verified. While it would be nice to have balanced views, usually I am deliberately biased. Parts of the blog are on sale as an e-book.
The nature of my job makes it a huge sacrifice to compile, type, edit and post. Given the typing speed and the limited computer knowledge, it gets worse.  Attempts to make calls from where I am can be costly. Imagine a call from the moon to the sun and one reaches the voice mailbox. It is dear, very dear.
A few stories of interest were compiled and edited for tense and tone. They were doctored to endure time and captivate readers in thriller movie fashion. They can be read or left alone on the blog. The readers’ favourite like the greatest defenders, strikers, midfielders and goalkeepers follow a brief history of the club from inception. 
If there is a strong appetite to read the sauced and spiced version, Highlanders Football Club will benefit from your consumption. For every payment you make, a donation will be made to the club. That is so cool. Thinking of it as a simple purchase helps, but there shall come a day when the records of your indulgence shall surprise you.
You will discover that while you were enjoying the reading, Bosso were laughing all the way to the bank. This voluntary action reciprocated by the generous family of the Bossolona family is a risky affair. Sceptics have questioned accountability of the process. As a documented donation or purchase, the purchaser has rights to know the breakdown of the money.
In any case, after buying a newspaper, nobody follows to see how the money was spent. The reader purchases the paper and comes back tomorrow for another one. If I took so much time, so many times to write the stories and the book and compile all this, it would be very clever to think of the possible criminality.
If I ran away with the money and settled in Mars, you would never hear of me. If I donated 50% of the profits to the team, Amahlolanyama would never want. The same process could roll over 12 times a year, Bosso would never run broke. Never.
The price of the purchase is now being put across the floor. Name the price and let it be picked out of the e-book store. The printed copy is slowed by slow response of the e-book. Click the link What Highlanders need right now! and buy the electronic copy now before Wynamos copy the idea, for which they can be sued.
I appreciate and thank the random and loyal patronage from all viewers and readers.

In their own words: Godfrey Paradza

e-Diski: Hello Goddie. It's been a very long time.

Goddie: Hie Ndex,forgive me for responding late. Ngingumuntu omnyama.

e-Diski: No worries, you will pay for it, haha. So where are you?

Goddie: I'm in UK.

e-Diski: With your family?

Goddie: Yes, wife and our 3 kids.

e-Diski: Wow. And what are you doing now?

Goddie: I run a football academy in Bulawayo and a sports shop in Gwanda.

e-Diski: What was your favourite nickname?

Goddie: GP.

e-Diski: How did you get it?

Goddie: It stuck just coming from my initials.

e-Diski: When was your defining or breakthrough moment?

Goddie: It was in 1982 when I played for Zimbabwe Saints first team.

e-Diski: How old where you then? 

Goddie: I was just 17.

e-Diski: Great. And you never looked back. Where were you and what were you doing before then?

Goddie: I was in Bulawayo and I was part of the famous junior policy. 

e-Diski: I remember you were part of that great youth side, Liverpool.

Goddie: Hahaha, yes. It was fantastic. The coach and the environment was great.

e-Diski: What was your memorable moment?

Goddie: Winning the first of my four league championships in 1991 with Dynamos was a huge highlight for me.

e-Diski: Which one is your highest or proudest achievement?

Goddie: Representing my country at both junior and senior level made me very proud and gave me a good feeling.

e-Diski: What makes you tick?

Goddie: It is the desire to succeed. I want to succeed in everything I do.

e-Diski: What is your dream?

Goddie: I think to bring back normalcy in our football. Things are not right somewhere.

e-Diski: How do you intend to achieve it?

Goddie: By working with former players and administrators of the day. Running football and its administration is all team work like the game itself. People must work together.

e-Diski: What was the regrettable moment?

Goddie: Factionalism at Dynamos in 1992. It was just sad.

e-Diski: Who was your best teammate to play with?

Goddie: The late Francis Shonhayi. He was a great player.

e-Diski: Many will remember Sandura. May his soul rest in peace. Who was your toughest opponent?

Goddie: Friday Phiri. Amayenge always gave defenders problems.

e-Diski: What do you think of the game today?

Goddie: Paying well but not exciting. It is now too ordinary somehow.

e-Diski: I think you will get a lot of people to agree with you here. Which is the best football team at the moment?

Goddie: Barcelona must be the best team at the moment.

e-Diski: You support the Catalans.

Goddie: No, no. I support Liverpool.

e-Diski: Ok. Who is the best player?

Goddie: Lionel Messi.

e-Diski: What music do you listen to?

Goddie: I listen to mostly Reggae.

e-Diski: Which is your favourite movie?

Goddie: The Bourne Identity

e-Diski: Oh great. Goddie, thanks very much for your time and chat, and God bless you in everything you do.

Goddie: Sure Ndex and be blessed.

Godfrey Paradza was a solid defender playing for top teams like Highlanders FC, Dynamos FC and Tornadoes. He played for the Warriors on several occasions and many strikers respected his game and tackling. He played alongside the great David Mwanza, Peter Fanuel, Misheck and Sunday Marimo and Elvis Chiweshe among a list of decorated legends. Paradza is a qualified coach of note, having coached Zimbabwe Saints and Mbabane Highlanders of Swaziland among man other teams. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Arsenal still have it

Given we do not endeavour to report the events of the football world as they happen, but rather analyse them, the demise of Arsenal has been dealt with in totality in these pages, and their fate has been officially concluded by AC Milan, as far as the UEFA Champions League is concerned. 
Trying to say how much that was seen coming is an unnecessary reputation and we are better off discussing the match in isolation, rather than what it stood for. In that regards, Arsenal are a very wonderful team, having blasted AC Milan of Italy, 3-0 at the Emirates. It was an excellent display and value for money. 
That's all I can say.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

AVB - Chelsea money talks

Chelsea Football Club, unlike any other in the English Premier League, are not an investment. They are a savings entity. Let me gist you about the difference. In life terms, investing basically means growing money. The nature of the vehicles involved, this growth can tilt either side of zero. The pure intention is profit.

By contrast, saving means the keeping of what is there for a long time, possibly life. While growth is not a primary concern, loss of the capital is criminal. With Chelsea, Roman Abrahimovic should be understood as a man who had money he could have hidden under his pillow for the next 60 or so years. Instead of the pillow, he bought Chelsea as the mechanism of keeping the cash.

Over the years, that vehicle seemed sensible and safe, such that he continued pouring in any extra coins he could pick up in the street. If they laid eggs, those would be a welcome bonus. The club represented his personal wealth and retirement for him and family. As with a pillow, there would be morning he thought a coin fell from underneath his head, and he would make it his business, not his maid, to sweep the floor.

To draw a sharp contrast, Arsenal have been a true investment. Menial amounts of paper money were thrown into the system and they would mate and bear children overnight. As long as the fertility was in that direction, peaceful nights passed by, the slot machine ringing, such that the directors can hardly hear the fans crying for honours or trophies. There is absolutely no need to change any winning formular, hence, Arsene Wenger will be the equilibrium constant of the equation.

Having drawn the line and cleared the air over the extremes, let us look at the history of Chelsea under the Russian billionaire. Abrahimovic has always spent on players' purchases and wages without a wink. The Blues coaches' salaries have always been cool. The vision of the returns on the savings account would tickle even a small baby, but without peeping on the Chelsea owner's savings passbook or audit reports of the club, thinking he ever made bucks from football would be a long short.

Winning the English championship back to back under Jose Mourinho and the FA Cup as well as the UEFA Champion's League among others served only to stroke his personal ego. I would not bet on that having made him a better man even among his peers. It could have attracted useful change to reward his players more and even cushion the savings, probably by just replacing the pillowcase.

The current problems, as preceded by similar ones, befell Andre Villas-Boas when this pillowcase was dirty and could not be replaced. Depleting the savings to cushion the saving is like selling your only pillow to buy a pillowcase. Even the thought of that potential would draw the ire of a mentally disturbed man.

The issue of pride and status would have mattered at the Stanford Bridge, but to maintain a healthy wage bill, Chelsea needed to be going as further ahead of the pack, any pack, all packs, as possible. This attracted TV and fans. The commercial aspects made sure the huge wages budget does not haemorrhage the piggy bank.

AVB was assigned to guard the situation. Many think the man was able. Few understand how this was going to be impossible. At Manchester United and Arsenal, Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson  have been in the business for a long time. The economic waters favoured them in trying times of high and low tides. Their roots became deep in a way that made the institutions almost their personal properties.

The wage bills and recruitment of personnel in tightly under their control, exactly the opposite at Chelsea and for the reasons already given. The two veterans have a say on the wage bill. They choose their pick and call their tune. They pay the piper and face the music.

Chelsea bosses receive players whom they may not use. The material being availed to them comes at a price. With that tag, the feeling of invincible superiority. The well paid-gladiators, in due time, will know they make more money than the boss. The financial advantage over the manager addictively rubs off everyone and all control is lost.

Rivals like Man U and Arsenal will never have the players earning above the managers, unless other arrangements outside the club structures are made. This genuine concern shifts from the playing field. Everyone starts looking over their shoulder. Instead of the players knowing and adhering to the manager's strategy and not questioning his abilities and credentials, the attention is elsewhere.

Playing on your mind now might be how investments are of less interest than savings, or, why the clubs are not sacking coaches left right and centre. The gamblers lose all and still hope they will win it back tomorrow. They throw all the coins into the slot machine. They win some and lose some. It is a common principle.

Time to build success and stabilise the situation is limited. The constraints of trying to cement one's philosophy and implant discipline are not helped by lack of interest of the owner in club politics. This is not helped by the fact that when Abrahimovic goes to bed, he lifts the pillow and sees the state of his savings. There is no only who could perhaps survive the double-edged sword at the Bridge.

The Special One stubbornly built a side of mature warriors ready for battle. The same battle weary war horses have been recycles beyond repair. In trying to mould a new breed around the likes of Daniel Sturridge, things were bound to be worse as those benched due to the presence of youngsters threatened the up and coming boys. 

It will take a character of Jose Mourinho to build another team that excludes Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Petr Czech, Flaurent Mouluda and other veterans. That clean sweep has to happens lightning fast and by the one who does not need to create a football profile. They should be able to tell Abrohimovic his story right in their face. 

If anyone thinks Mourinho is the man, they are deluded. It will not be surprising to see the two-man hug, but that will be the beginning of the end of Mourinho. Chelsea need to build from bottom up, with new faces, from manager to players

Monday, March 5, 2012

In their own words: Eddie Mukahanana

e-Diski: Hello Eddie.

Eddie: Hello baba.

e-Diski: Tell us where are you based?

Eddie: I'm in Canada.

e-Diski: With your wife and children?

Eddie: Yes. I have been married for 10 years now to my wife Michelle. We have been blessed with our lovely kids, Rutendo who is 4 and Tinaye 2 years old.

e-Diski: Cool. And what are you doing here in Canada?

Eddie: I work full-time at the University of Victoria.

e-Diski: And...?

Eddie: I am also a Youth Technical Director of Bays United FC here in Victoria BC, and I run EM Sports Academy (Check their website right now on

e-Diski: That is great and all the best with that. I have tremendous respect for people who work on that aspect of the game.

Eddie: Thanks. Thanks a lot.

e-Diski: What was your favourite nickname?

Eddie: Malefty was the common one.

e-Diski: How did you get it?

Eddie: It was probably because of my dominant left foot.

e-Diski: When was your defining or breakthrough moment?

Eddie: Mine came when, in 1994, I played my first league match for Zimbabwe Saints versus Tongogara in Gweru.

e-Diski: Great. Where were you and what were you doing before then?

Eddie: I was doing my A-Levels then at St. Columba's High and had just returned to Saints from Highlanders juniors. 

e-Diski: I see. What was your memorable moment?

Eddie: The first time I played against Highlanders e- B/F.

e-Diski: Was it a good experience?

Eddie: Nothing prepares a 17-year-old for such an occasion, especially playing in a defensive position at the Soweto end. It was all good at the end.

e-Diski: I feel you here. Which one is your highest or proudest achievement?

Eddie: The balance between academics and football has to be the highest achievement for me personally.

e-Diski: Why?

Eddie: Look, it was incredibly difficult to balance the two and do well in both. Our system of football and school in Zimbabwe doesn't cater for such. The fact that I managed to do it so I could go on to university was the highest achievement for me.

e-Diski: I personally think you did very well indeed. So, what makes you tick?

Eddie: I am very ambitious individual. So achieving my set goals does.

e-Diski: Self-driven?

Eddie: You can say that. Yeah.

e-Diski: What is your dream?

Eddie: Now that I am a coach, coaching at the highest level is my goal.

e-Diski: All the best with that, but how do you intend to achieve it?

Eddie: I have been coaching for the past 10 years in very good environments and getting myself educated at the highest levels. I now hold the UEFA A License among others. So I will continue to get the necessary experience until a time I get the opportunity to take the next step

e-Diski: Congratulations. Maybe UEFA Pro License next? Any way, what was the regrettable moment?

Eddie: We will see. Mmmm, my regrettable moment - possibly was not staying in Russia when I was signed by Rostov in 2001. I lacked the support I needed at that time so I decided to return to play in the US. I think I should have stayed longer.

e-Diski: Sorry about that. It reminds me of Joe Machingura's missed opportunity at Benfica in the 1980s. Who was your best teammate to play with?

Eddie: Muzondiwa Mugadza was very helpful to me as a young-man coming into the 1st team. His support as goalkeeper was excellent to me as a defender. It gave me the confidence I needed as a player. I also liked playing with Gee Mangayi.

e-Diski: Gee? Wow, where is Gee? I liked him, he had incredible pace and finishing for a man of that speed. Who was your toughest opponent?

Eddie: Hahaha. Gee is somewhere in Vancouver. Makwinji Soma-Phiri was tough to play against. He was just so physical and good in the air. It was tough but that was the job I signed up for so I did it to the best of my ability. But it was him.

e-Diski: Ok. And so, what do you think of the game today?

Eddie: The game today is faster, technical and sports science has played a huge part in that revolution. Today's players are more efficient that say 10 years ago.

e-Diski: True that. Too many elements to look into. Which is the best football team at the moment? 

Eddie: Barcelona. They are too good.

e-Diski: I see, and the best player?

Eddie: Lionel Messi.

e-Diski: What music do you listen to?

Eddie: I listen to anything...except RAP

e-Diski: Hahaha, which is your favourite movie?

Eddie: Since I have a 4yr old and a 2yr old - we are watching "Happy feet", hahaha. 

e-Diski: Hahaha. Family time! Eddie, thanks very much for your time and chat, and God bless you in everything you do. Have fun.

Eddie: Thank you and have a great day.

Eddie Mukahanana was a solid and cool defender of note. He played alongside Mlungisi Ndebele, Chris Kahwema, Muzondiwa Mugadza, Ronald Gidiza Sibanda and Godwin Gee Mangayi during his stint at Zimbabwe Saints before he went to the United States of America on a scholarship. A true and ethical man. All the best to him and family.