FORMER Hard-body Football Club premiership promotion winning coach Tavaka Gumbo has bounced back to the elite level of the game eight years after his unceremonious exit.
Eight years ago, Gumbo’s 13-match stay in the Premiership ended at Watosvorwa after winning just three games, drawing one and losing nine matches.
The final straw came when Hard-body lost 2-4 to Monomotapa after the team had taken a 2-0 lead at half-time before imploding in the last seven minutes of the match.
After a sabbatical in the wilderness of the game’s lower echelons, the former Shu Shine and Hwange midfielder will on Saturday bounce back to Premiership duty albeit in Eswatini, after securing the vacant Piggs Peak Black Swallows coaching job.
His first dance will be against Ludzeludze Killers in the opening round of the Eswatini Bank Cup, a tie set for Mavuso Sports Centre on Saturday.
Gumbo arrived in the country a fortnight ago and this week started drilling the team at Mbabane’s Prince of Wales albeit temporarily as the incessant rains washed away the potential for sessions from Malandalahle Grounds.
Speaking to B-Metro Sport on Wednesday, Gumbo said he welcomed the fresh start.
“A human being always needs such fresh starts once in a while and I welcome this one and promise to maximize on it. Who knows this may turn out to be the greatest ladder one needs,” said Gumbo.
This could mark the beginning of a new era for the team. Relegation-threatened Premier League side Pigg’s Peak Black Swallows are languishing in relegation zone.
In his playing career, Gumbo’s name will remain entrenched in the records of football history in two of Zimbabwe’s erstwhile sporting towns of Hwange and Zvishavane where he asserted himself as one of the best ball players.
His ability to read the game and control the tempo of the game made him a household name in both towns where sport at some stage was a religion. For his efforts to have been recognised for national duty while turning out for the now defunct Shushine speaks volumes of the talent he was endowed with.
Throughout his career he shone like a beacon in the middle of the park, attracting attention of big clubs. However, his coaching career has struggled to sustain stays at the elite level and complement his playing career heights.