LOWER Division coaches do not receive the recognition that is due to them despite the fact that they are the ones that contribute to the teams being promoted to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League each year.
Coaches such as Plumtree Chiefs Thulani Sibanda, Ntabazinduna’s Agent Sawu and Tsholotsho’s Lizwe Sweswe have never been given recognition despite the fact that they contribute to the players’ development before they join the big leagues.
Themba “Tshuks” Tshuma is one such coach who despite having coached the likes of Ernest “Maphepha” Sibanda, Makheyi Nyathi, Nkululeko Dlodlo, Isaac Riyano, Bulawayo deputy mayor Gift Banda, Luke Masomere, Nation Dube, Nkosilathi “Diego” Khumalo and the late Nqobizitha Maenzanise, he is still unheralded.
Southern Eye Sport caught up with the former Merlin Husky, Gwanda Ramblers and Intundla gaffer along Victoria Falls Road where he is now in the transport business.
Tshuma started his footballing career at a young age playing for Mhlangeni of Makokoba where he played with Themba Ncube, Zhoki Lunga and Mpathisi Nyathi.
“I was never really interested in playing, but my interests were in coaching. I moved to coaching at a young age. I wanted to do what I loved. I joined Division One side Merlin Husky where I assisted Silas Ndlovu and I was later under Ebson “Sugar” Muguyo,” he said.
Tshuma said Muguyo later left the club and he remained in the hot seat where he was in charge of players who included Sibanda, Nyathi, Dlodlo, Riyano and Banda.
“After about a season with Merlin Husky, I moved to Bulawayo District then I went to Masvingo’s Kismet United. I then joined Gwanda Ramblers which had Luke Masomere and Nation Dube before moving to Victoria Falls to settle with Intundla,” he said.
Tshuma who holds a Zifa Advanced Level coaching certificate and Fifa instructor’s certificate he got in Mozambique, has also coached with Fifa-Caf instructor Gibson Homela, Ali “Baba” Dube and Jairos Tapela.
He was instrumental in Bulawayo Arsenal’s promotion to the Southern Region Division One League and was with the team from 2005 to 2007.
The now defunct Bulawayo Arsenal finished the season in 15th position from 22 teams in a year which saw Njube Sundowns being promoted to the top flight.
“I quit football in 2008 when the economy was going bad. Football was not paying anymore. I have always wanted to come back to the sport since I left and I have made a decision that I would be returning,” he said.
Tshuma said he would be joining Southern Region Division One side Trumus who are based in Victoria Falls.