DETERMINED Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) newcomers How Mine have parted ways with head coach Philani Mabhena, ostensibly for a string of poor results despite the new boys’ relatively safe position nine on the log standings.
The former Highlanders and FC Platinum gaffer was relieved of his duties on Friday and the How Mine executive said they will be announcing their new coach tomorrow.
His assistant, former Njube Sundowns, Chicken Inn and Quelaton coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube, who was named Coach of the Year in 2008 when at Sundowns, is tipped to take over.
Chairman of the club, Mlondolozi Nkomo, yesterday confirmed that Mabhena was no longer with the Metallon Gold-sponsored outfit after the executive reached a decision based on the team’s performance in the last eight matches.
“Unfortunately he is no longer with us. The executive took a decision to ask him to step down. From the past eight games, we only got four points and we are saying the returns from the past eight matches have not been pleasing.
You can say that we have asked him to step down because of poor results, but otherwise the team was not performing badly competitively. We spoke to him yesterday (Friday) and we reached that amicable decision.
“I know there has been a lot of speculation, but that is the accurate position. We respect Mabhena and appreciate that he is a good coach, but the wins just deserted us. We will be making a statement on who takes over on Monday (tomorrow),” Nkomo said.
Mabhena’s mobile phone was not reachable for a comment.
In the last eight matches, How Mine have only picked up four points from a possible 24 and the points were garnered from beating league champions Dynamos 1-0 at Luveve Stadium on July 6 and the 1-1 draw to Triangle at the same venue on June 20.
After slaying another giant Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium on May 19, How Mine went on to lose 0-1 to Black Mambas at Morris Depot three days later, before another 0-1 defeat to Chicken Inn at BF on Africa Day.
On June 2, before the PSL two-week break, they had been dismissed 0-2 by Shabanie Mine at Maglas and on return that’s when they shared spoils with Triangle at Luveve before a 0-3 thumping by DeMbare in Harare in the first round of the season.
They then beat the Glamour Boys in the return fixture in Bulawayo and lost two successive matches 1-2 to Triangle at Gibbo and 0-1 to Shabanie Mine at Luveve.
Mabhena becomes the fourth coach to face the axe in the Premiership this year after Nesbert Saruchera (Black Rhinos), Saul Chaminuka (Buffaloes) and Friday Phiri (Tripple B) while Tennant Chilumba quit FC Platinum.