Friday, January 11, 2013

Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu needs support

Exactly one article ago (, you will remember how I tried to make clear the small basic critical points a coach has to work with to influence the results of matches. This is more relevant after Highlanders head coach Kelvin Kaindu bemoaned the unavailability of Bulawayo city council stadia for his pre-season training.

Also worth noting is the complaints that many fans had with drawn matches in the last campaign which saw Bosso hand Dynamos the championship. Out of the nine draw, one being converted to a win would have been enough to win Highlanders their first championship since 2006.

In the most recent reports elsewhere, the Zambian and England trained coach rightly claimed that modern football required players to work more with the ball and focus on the technical aspect of the game. To achieve that, a proper football ground for preparations would go a long way in meeting his demands.

It is said that last month, the Bulawayo City Council flighted notices in the press advising that all its stadia would be shut down for maintenance purposes until the end of this month, an unfortunate development for Bosso who may size up with Dynamos in the Bob 89 Cup next month.

Chairman Peter Dube would be expected to say that all was in order given the history of the relationship of the club and the City fathers. To the coach, he needs the grounds when he needs the grounds. At the St George's Park Football Centre in England, i already mentioned that the facilities have two Wembley replica pitches, one in terms of construction as it is an indoor facility while the other has its precise measurements and materials made the same way and by the same factory machines as the home turf.

Kaindu is not asking for the replica Barbourfields Stadium or the grass that makes the BF turf, but some useful grass surface. One needs to stop thinking about how other teams do not have this or that. Highlanders is Bosso and is coached by Kaindu. That is the difference. It is not like any other team.

As he constructs the team likely to feature Hwange and Motor Action player Fortune Ncube and Mighty Bulls defender Thembani Masuku, he did not have runner-up Soccer Star of the Year Masimba Mambare, Bruce Kangwa and Beavan Chikaka, the last thing Bosso needed.

It has been noted the technical team contracts expired at the end of the season and it will be interesting how the line-up will finally look. If Kaindu was comfortable with his team, it would be the wisdom of Dube to respect that, not only for continuity's sake but for the football education of his team. There is so much to learn from the Zambian as far as modern concepts of training are concerned. Kaindu is also keen to further his knowledge.

Those close to the goings-on revealed that coach Kaindu had indicated in his end of year report that he was happy with his lieutenants and would love to continue working with them. There has been noise about the possibility of Douglas Mloyi, Willard Kumalo, Tito Paketh and Colsen Mabeza being considered for certain positions in the team set-up.

A few things may be set-up and records put straight during the club's elections next month that will follow the annual general meeting set for 26 January.The Treasurer and Vice -Chairman's positions will be contested in the elections that are set for 3 February.

Whatever the outcomes, the team comes first and the needs of the coach are paramount. The overall picture is that Highlanders will do well again this year and that is not enough. Well is never good enough, but one cannot help but smell complacent approaches given the second position the team attained last season. That is more so given the tone of how major players in the team are still to report for camp.

It filters down to the upcoming and aspiring players who adopt a lacklustre attitude to work. Winning does not come that way. It is a habit built on the strength of the strong and the support given to the weak by the knowledgeable. The Executive committee should be giving access to the junior team coaches to see the head coach at work and let Kaindu impart his knowledge to these junior coaches.

The coaching of the 21st century demands much research and support for the coach to afford him the tools he needs cannot be over-emphasised. There is no need to get panicking about non-availability of the training grounds. At this juncture, the technical team has to be spending much time on computers or TV monitors watching and analysing last season games to construct proper planning and scheduling for periods lasting 4 seasons. There is software to track individual player contributions that they need to study.

After all is said and done, minute details of training, either in technique practise or skills training are what have to be determined and rectified before the beginning of the season. This brings us to the point I made with the article referred to at the beginning. Essentially, these details need to be worked on at youth levels and continued with the first team.

It is this support that will separates Bosso from everyone else. They have a first class coach, and everything must be first class, from players, administrators, camp, transport and fans. Only then, can the club begin to think of itself as first class. Otherwise, expectation will remain just that; expectation. It will remain a case of so near yet so far.