FORMER Warriors Benjani Mwaruwari says he would prefer to be the Zimbabwe national football team coach than being the ZIFA president.
Mwaruwari, recently made a stride in his quest to become a professional coach after completing the UEFA A License.
After making the grade, he made his wish known that if the opportunity arises, he would not hesitate to grab the Warriors job.
H-Metro’s Bruce Chikuni caught up with Mwaruwari who expressed his vision and desire. Below is the exclusive interview.
Q: Who inspired you to become a coach?
Ans: I played in many leagues and I was inspired with all the coaches who helped me to improve. It’s now like I realised my passion for coaching after football but I did Level 1 and 2 whilst playing.
Q: Do you think you can replicate or surpass what you achieved as a player?
Ans: I am a believer of the adage nothing is impossible. As long as you are determined to achieve what you want. The sky is the limit, you just have to stay professional and everything will fall into place. Hard work is the best weapon.
Q: As a player you had a dream to play for a certain team. What team do you dream to coach?
Ans: I cannot say I have a dream to coach a certain team or whatever. As for now my focus is on paying attention to the details and gradually I will make it to the top. It’s one step at a time. I want to come back home and see what happens from there.
Q: If you get the chance to coach the Warriors, do you think you have what it takes to qualify Zimbabwe for the World Cup?
Ans: I have been observing the on the quality of players that we have lately. We have amazing talent and I think it’s achievable. It’s all about preparation, good selection of players. Covid-19 has dented the local football and I think those who ply their trade elsewhere have an edge to capitalize.
Q: Did your family supported you when you embarked on your coaching career?
A: When I started playing football, my father was against my dream. He never gave me a chance to impress him that I could reach this far but I thank God that he made me strong until my father accepted to accompany me all the way.
Whenever I try to do something, my family always sympathize because they learnt that cream will always rise to the top. They are now supportive than ever. I urge parents to support their children since nobody knows what the future holds.
Q: If it happens that you get to choose between the Warriors hot seat or ZIFA president post, which one would you take?
Ans: It’s a trick one (laughs) and easy to answer. In all honesty, I am now a dedicated coach. I have been doing administration course and now I have just completed the UEFA A licence.
I think it’s a blessing in disguise that I did not get the job back then at ZIFA when I was very close to get it. I have realized that I need more time to understand certain things before I get to the position. I will be turning 43 soon and I think I am getting more experience in how the job is done. If I become the Warriors coach one day, I think it will give me the leverage to grasp more details. I will become a ZIFA president one day but not now. There is still time to learn and through this coaching career, I will learn fast enough.
Q: What are the areas you think our Zimbabwean football needs special attention?
Ans: If we are serious with football in Zimbabwe, I think there’s need for action for developing grassroots football. All the star players we have today squad are products of junior league football. The kids need to play as many games as they can before they make it to the top flight league. During our team, there would be junior league derbies and you would feel the heat. We are losing sight of issues of importance. We will find players failing to do the basics because they are not ready, football is a process. Every stage has to be completed thoroughly.
Q: What happened with your academy?
Ans: I changed the name, it’s now called Magwegwe City Academy. That’s the place I came from and I dedicated the name to the city so that the kids will get inspired. People are inspired differently. I wanted to launch the academy last year but Covid-19 was the reason for postponement.