TSHOLOTSHO FC head coach Lizwe Sweswe will be rewarded with a car by club owner Mandla Manyathela for guiding the team to the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL).
Tsholotsho wrote their own piece of history by becoming the only team from a rural area and the second from Matabeleland North after Hwange to play in the top-flight from the Southern Region Division One league.
He had taken over from Abednego Ndebele in 2010.
Manyathela made the announcement during the Individual Club Awards ceremony held at the Roman Catholic Hall in Tsholotsho on Saturday.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to say this before the public. We sat down with my wife and discussed what we were going to do for the coach in the event he took the team to the Premier Soccer League.
“We agreed that we would buy him a car. Since Sweswe has taken us there, we have done as we promised, we have bought the car. We will make the arrangement to alert the media the day Sweswe receives his car. He did a very good job,” Manyathela said.
He, however, did not divulge the type of car.
Manyathela inherited the project at the end of the 2005 season from Melusi Ndebele after the founder’s pocket had been exhausted and could not continue funding the club.
However, Ndebele has since bounced back into the club structures and an influential position is being lined up for him as the club prepares for maiden appearance in the PSL.
Ndebele, who was elected councillor for ward 12 in last year’s harmonised elections, said they would work together with Manyathela and other stakeholders towards the success of the club.
He said they would make sure they do not lose Sweswe by taking him from Bulawayo to Tsholotsho.
“We will work together for the benefit of the team. This team will not go to Bulawayo. Sweswe is part of the team so we will make sure we keep him in Tsholotsho. If it means giving him a house here we will do so,” Ndebele said.
In appreciation Sweswe said he had not expected something of that magnitude from the club.
“It is difficult to believe something like this coming out of the contract.
“If you see people doing something like this it shows that they appreciate your efforts and they have trust on you.
“Now the task is for me to work hard and try not to disappoint them. I am not yet sure the type of the car, but I appreciate the present,” Sweswe said.
He said it has been a challenge to work in the rural area.
“It has been difficult. It is a challenge to bring professionalism to players in the rural area.
Some would skip training sessions; others would even leave the country for South Africa.
At least now we have something that will inspire them to take football seriously,” he added.