ESWATINI Football Association (EFA) has felt local is lekker in as far as the Sihlangu head coach job is concerned shutting the door firmly on foreign coaches, among them Zimbabwe-born Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe, albeit at least for a year.
At the weekend Young Buffaloes head coach Dominic Kunene was confirmed as the incoming Sihlangu mentor.
Could this mark the end of Eswatini’s flirtation with Zimbabwe soccer professionals or merely a cost effective measure to an almost dithering 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers which opened with two heavy defeats to Guinea Bissau and Senegal.
Jongwe was one of the coaches that had shown their interest for the Sihlangu top job after the EFA opted not to renew Serbian mentor Kostadin Papic’s contract after the former Orlando Pirates mentor presided over a winless 13 matches.
This is the third consecutive time that Zimbabwe coaches have lost out on the Sihlangu job; Madinda Ndlovu, Saul Chaminuka, Calisto Pasuwa and now Takaendesa being the notable names.
Sihlangu has had no joy with European coaches with Vallery Billen from Belgium, Dutch Pieter de Jongh and Papic all failing and unfortunately the only successful local coach who led the team to a Cosafa bronze medal and near Afcon qualification, Harries Madze Bulunga may not be available as he is serving as sports minister in central government.
Before that, South African Shakes Mashaba had brought an immense improvement to the game posting a lot of positives.
Eswatini look to have a substantive coach in place ahead of the next round 2021 Total Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in March.