Strugglers Escom United have hired veteran coach ‘Sir’ Alex Masanjala in a last-minute attempt to save the Electricians from TNM Super League relegation.
Escom chairperson Fanuel Nkhono confirmed that Masanjala, who was sacked by Civo United a couple of months ago, got down to business “on a deal of not less than a year”.
“He is a good coach. We hired him based on what he did at Civo. He turned them into a force to reckon with. He is also good at working with the youth and we thought of giving him a chance,” said Nkhono.
The Nation on Wednesday caught up with the former Sucoma, Admarc Tigers, MDC United, Civo and Silver Strikers trainer, who stressed that Super League survival is the gospel he is preaching to his new charges.
“Surviving relegation is achievable. I told them to work hard. It is up to each individual if we are to remain in the Super League because if relegated, then the team will collapse,” he said.
Escom have nine games to go.
Masanjala, who from the late 1970s worked with expatriates such as Ted Powell and Manfred Hoener, said he has agreed with Escom management to take charge of the team until the end of the season, then thrash out a long-term deal.
At the morning training session, Masanjala was overheard telling his new charges that discipline are paramount in a playing career.
“Keep away from smoking and drinking. For the young ones, I urge you to listen to the seniors. Always be honest with yourself and your performance. Always do self-critique,” he told the players.
He takes over the mantle from the improvised coaching panel of Jacob Ngwira, Noel Mkandawire, Chiukepo Msowoya and Kondwani Gawani who, after the sacking of Charles Manda, McDonald Mtetemera and Aubrey Nankhuni, steered the side to Carlsberg Cup final. But the Super League survival has proved to be a tall order.