For Ngezi Platinum, Benjani was a gamble which didn’t pay off

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The appointment of Benjani Mwaruwari as Ngezi Platinum Stars head coach got tongues wagging.

The 43-year old former Warriors captain replaced highly-ratted gaffer Rodwell Dhlakama in the Madamburo dugout back in March.

For a coach who had never managed even in the Northern Region Division One, it was a huge gamble for Ngezi, a side which was causing problems for teams like FC Platinum before Benjani’s arrival.

For a man who is still a green horn in the coaching field, appointing Benjani on a 3-year deal and expecting instant results, was one of, if not the biggest gamble ever taken by a top-flight club in Zimbabwe.

It even emerged days after his appointment, that The Undertaker, as Benjani is affectionately-known, could not sit on the bench, as he does not hold the required CAF A coaching badge.

The Madamburo hierarchy stuck to their decision and a waiver was given to Mwaruwari by ZIFA and his journey in the Ngezi dugout began.

He even said his ambition was to win the league.

“My target is to win the league,” Mwaruwari said on Heart and Soul TV weekly show In Conversation with Trevor. 

“I hope and wish they (the club) can give me the time that I need. I came in when they had played nine or 10 games, they were in a good position and I need to keep that.

“In terms of my philosophy, it takes time for the team to understand what I want. I’m so glad these boys are responding well, even though we need to strengthen in some areas.

Time is however something that an ambitious club like Ngezi cannot afford to give a coach, regardless of his status in Zimbabwean football.

After overseeing just 13 games, Mwaruwari was shown the exit door after winning just three of those.

“Ngezi Platinum Stars Football Club would like to inform all its stakeholders that the Club has parted ways with Head Coach Benjani Mwaruwari by mutual agreement,” read a statement from the club.

“This was Benjani’s first coaching assignment and both the club and the coach agreed that it did not deliver the expected results hence the decision to separate was in the best interest of the club. NPS FC wishes Benjani all the best in his future endeavors.”

His dismissal was  not a matter of if, it was a question of when.