Former Chiefs, Pirates coach linked with Warriors job

The ZIFA Normalisation Committee (NC) has approached Serbian gaffer Kostadin Papić to potentially take over as the next Warriors coach,” Soccer24 has established.

The country’s biggest coaching job has been vacant since Portuguese mentor Baltemar Britt’s short-term contract was not renewed at the end of last year.

FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza was appointed on an interim basis to specifically oversee the recently-held four-nations tournament in Malawi.

The NC therefore has to appoint a coach for the Warriors, in time for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers slated for June.

While the Lincoln Mutasa-led administration has remained tight-lipped on their plans as far as the appointment of the next Warriors coach is concerned, a well-placed source privy to ongoings at ZIFA, told Soccer24 that Papić has been approached.

“The Normalisation Committee approached Kostadin Papić’s handlers on April 15, before talking to the coach himself the following day,” said the source.

“I’m not so sure about the details of the discussion but it appears as though they (the NC) just told the coach they would get back to him,” added the source.

Papić (63), has been in charge of numerous clubs across the African continent, in a glittering career spanning over two decades.

The Serb managed South African Premiership sides; Orlando Pirates between 2004 and 2006, Maritzburg United (2006-2007), before a short spell at Kaizer Chiefs in 2007.

He then managed Ghanaian giants Hearts of Oak between 2008 and 2009, before moving to Tanzania, where he was in the Young Africans dugout for between 2010 and 2012.

Papić then returned to South Africa in 2014, where he briefly took charge of Black Leopards and Chippa United, before moving to Polokwane City.

The veteran coach returned to Black Leopards in 2015 and was in charge of Lidoda Duvha for a year, before moving to South African second tier side Royal Eagles in 2017.

He then moved to Ethiopia the following year, where he took charge of Ethiopian Coffee before returning to South African for a second stint with Royal Eagles.

Papić’s last coaching job was with Black Leopards in 2021.

He is said to have previously applied for the Warriors job when it was first advertised by the NC.

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