BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
CAPS United football legend Lloyd Chitembwe is set to make history at the African Cup of Nations finals in January next year as the first to participate at the continental soccer show piece both as a player and coach.
The former Caps United coach, now taking charge of Harare City is one of the assistant coaches of the Warriors under the guidance of Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic with Dynamos mentor Tonderai Ndiraya who is also the Under-23 coach one of the assistants.
The two were part of the technical team that guided the Warriors to the African Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon next year.
However it is Chitembwe who is set to distinguish himself as the only footballer in the history of Zimbabwean football to play a part at the continental soccer showcase both as a player and coach.
While Sunday Chidzambwa, the most successful coach in Zimbabwe, broke the long-standing jinx to qualify the Warriors to the Nations up finals in Tunisia in 2004, he did not make it to the tournament as a Warrior.
Ironically, while Chitembwe failed to make the final squad for the Tunisia tournament when Chidzambwa named his men for the tournament, he had played a part in those qualifiers.
Althgouh he might have been disappointed after failing to make the trip, the midfielder made it to Egypt two years later under the guidance of Charles Mhlauri.
Now the 50-year-old coach is set to be part of the travelling squad for the Cameroon finals as part of Loga’s backroom staff barring any changes to the technical team.
The Caps United football legend also made history at the club when he guided them to the lucrative group stage of the prestigious African Champions League becoming the first coach to do so in the history of the club.
He had led the Green Machine to the championship podium the previous year in 2016.
The Warriors were pooled together with Senegal, Guinea and Malawi in Group B at the draw conducted in Cameroon on Tuesday.
The Warriors will fancy their chances of progressing to the knock out stage having played and collected seven points from Malawi and Guinea in the 2017 Afcon qualifiers.
They pocketed a point against Guinea with whom they drew at home before they lost away.
They beat Malawi home and away and by the time they played the West Africans in the last match of the qualifying campaign they had already sealed qualification.