MOHAMED Fathy — the new Highlanders Football Club coach — spent two turbulent seasons in the Zambian league where he was fired twice due to poor results.
Egyptian Fathy was unveiled by Highlanders yesterday in Bulawayo following the sacking of club legend Madinda Ndlovu a fortnight ago.
Fathy was first hired by Kabwe Warriors at the beginning of 2008. He was fired after the club failed to defend their BP Top Eight title in a trophy-less season.
On being shown the exit by Kabwe, Fathy was approached by Zanaco and Power Dynamos. He opted to go to Dynamos in Kitwe to replace Fordson Kabole.
At Power Dynamos, he was tasked with winning the league championship but only ended fifth in a dismal season by the club’s standards.
Power sacked Fathy last Friday and swiftly moved to replace him with Kabole yesterday. Ironically, Kabole replaced Fathy who was appointed as his successor in January after leaving Kabwe Warriors. Kabole once coached Caps United in Zimbabwe.
“He’s the kind of coach who came here to make a name,” BBC’s Zambian correspondent Kennedy Gondwe told IndependentSport from Lusaka yesterday.
“He is enthusiastic and passionate about his job. That you can’t take way from him. But I am afraid his coaching credentials are not very good.”
Fathy has no traceable history as a coach or player. The Kabwe Warriors job was his first major coaching role.
“To be honest, I don’t know how he came to coach in Zambia,” a top-ranked Football Association of Zambia official also said. “There is even a joke that he used to bake buns in Egypt before he came here. How he found himself here, I am not sure.”
Fathy’s first assignment in Zimbabwe is a PSL fixture against Lengthens at Luveve on Sunday.
Highlanders temporarily fell under the guidance of assistant coach Philani Mabhena after Ndlovu’s departure.
The former Zimbabwean champions cut a sorry sight these days, fielding a bunch of below average players clearly not capable of challenging for honours.
Fathy’s job will be to improve the club’s form and secure a respectable finish at the end of the season.