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DOMINIC STAYS PUT!

By XOLISILE SACOLO | 2024-05-21

SOCCER - DESPITE all the criticism, it would seem the Eswatini Football Association is happy with the current Sihlangu head coach. 

With 18 days left before Sihlangu Semnikati participate in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers; national team head coach Dominic Kunene will lead the boys while the EFA scouts for a coach to replace him.

This was said by EFA President Peter ‘Samora’ Simelane during a press conference held at Sigwaca House yesterday.

The former Young Buffaloes mentor's contract with the EFA elapsed on March 31 and the football head-honchos engaged him for a short term to drill the national team. During this period, he will be working alongside Green Mamba head coach Ernest Mavuso and former Royal Leopard's award-winning coach Sifiso ‘Nuro’ Ntibane. Both coaches will assist him in the World Cup Qualifiers.

Simelane said the EFA Technical Committee decided that the coach should stay for a short term as they were in the process of getting another coach.

He mentioned that time was not on their side, hence they were maintaining the coaching panel. “We want to finish the process of hiring the coach as fast as we can and we are already receiving applications from international and local coaches. Our wish is to hire a coach who will meet the requirements. This can be a foreigner. As much as he meets all the standards, for now we will use Kunene and his team," he said.

He further explained that local coaches had done better than foreign ones. He said the best results for Sihlangu were produced by former minister of sports, culture and youth affairs Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga. “We just pray that the coach to be hired will give us good results and for now we are focusing on the upcoming games,” he said. Simelane said they would meet with Kunene and his team and discuss everything and probably, tomorrow the players would be reporting to camp. Kunene could not be reached for comment on the matter as his phone rang unanswered.

The coaches might also lead the national team during the COSAFA Cup. The national team will play against Angola on June 7 and the next match will be played in Mauritius on June 10. Kunene, on the other hand, took over the Sihlangu hot seat from former DStv Premiership side Orlando Pirates gaffer Kostadian Papic.

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