Tonderayi Ndiraya’s last words
TONDERAYI NDIRAYA’S goodbye message to Castle Lager Premier Soccer League side Ngezi Platinum Stars was short and emotional.
“Please win the league championship for me,” said Ndiraya to a group of players who were clearly shaken by news that the gaffer they viewed as a big brother was leaving.
There was an exchange of hugs between Ndiraya and the Ngezi lads before the youthful gaffer made his way out Baobab Stadium.
Mystery surrounds Ndiraya’s departure with some club sources claiming the coach was fired after falling out with some members of the executive.
Yesterday, Ndiraya was relaxed at his Harare home and refused to be drawn into commenting on why he got the boot.
Instead the former Dynamos spoke of how he wished Ngezi well.
“Yes, I want them to do well,” said Ndiraya.
“My goodbye message to the boys was meant to motivate them, it was aimed at encouraging them to move from the unfortunate incident.
“I was in charge for 29 matches and if they are going to win the league, the incoming coach would have coached five games.
“I will be a strong contender for Coach of the Year if the team wins the league hence I pleaded with the players to win the league title.”
Some club bosses are said to have accused Ndiraya of being arrogant and were waiting for any excuse to pounce.
A defeat to struggling Bulawayo City provided the fig leaf.
“Everyone knows that this league title is far from being lost, a five-point gap is not something to be panicky about. However, there are people who really wanted to see Tonde leave the club.
“Ndiraya was supposed to go together with his backroom staff, but Kallisto Pasuwa, the man earmarked for the job, refused to take charge of the remaining fixtures. The board was then forced to make Somalia (Clifton Kadurira) the interim coach,” said a source.
Hours after his departure from Ngezi was confirmed, Ndiraya was immediately linked with a return to Dynamos.
“I have not been approached by Dynamos, but it’s quite disappointing the manner in which Dynamos have gone about business this season. It is a big team, a big institution which small teams look up to. It will be a sad day in football if they are relegated,” said Ndiraya.