Right in the heart of the remote Murehwa, a female coach is making rare feats with a boys’ soccer team.
Report by Own correspondent
Yes, the boys are all from a primary school but her charges have left fellow male coaches green with envy as she has not yet lost a single match in the district.
From a distance, one cannot but marvel at the sight of the woman with an orange sun hat, a three quarter jean, running up and down the touchline, barking instructions to a team of young boys, like Sir Alex Ferguson does when his team Manchester United is trailing.
She is indeed one of a kind. Her command of tactics surpasses most male coaches as she produces good results in difficult encounters.
Miriam Muchichwa, a grade 5 teacher at Dombodzvuku Primary School in Murehwa West, has become the talk of the area as her coaching prowess in the schools’ soccer team has left many impressed.
In a sporting discipline that is dominated by men, the 39-year-old teacher has become one of the few females to coach a boy’s soccer team.
Muchichwa’s ability and passion for the game is something that has left people in awe.
The energetic coach opened up in an interview with Standardsport. “It all started in 2003 when I was transferred from Zorizozo Primary School to Dombodzvuku where I met the then head coach Andrew Moyo. He introduced me to soccer and taught me some basics about the game and from then on I became interested.
“However, he left and was replaced by Edwell Kadzviti who I am currently working with,” she said.
Muchichwa and her charges have conquered the whole district of Murehwa and represented Mashonaland East in this year’s edition of National Association for Primary School Heads (Naph) finals in Mutare.
“l am not intimidated by my male counterparts. I am a game planner although I never did any course. I also played soccer during my time at college but l didn’t pursue it.
“I also used to watch a lot of European soccer matches and that is how I got to know much about the game. I usually use the 4-4-2 formation but it depends with the game. Sometimes I am forced to change to match my opponents.
“I enjoy working with children because they listen, sometimes we watch a soccer match on television together and after that we go to the pitch for demonstration. Guess what, they do exactly they would have seen,” she said.
Muchichwa’s dream is to sit with Rosemary Mugadza on the Mighty Warriors bench one day.
“I am stopping at nothing. I am preparing to undertake a coaching course and I pray that one day I will make it to the Mighty Warriors bench.
“My wish is to also coach a men’s soccer team,” she said.
She however bemoans the neglect of rural soccer teams by sponsors.
“There is so much talent in these rural areas. We have untapped talent but sponsors shun rural areas.
“Players here end up following odd careers as there are no sponsors to help them achieve their goals,” she said.
She is a staunch CAPS United and Manchester United supporter.
Her favourite player is Wayne Rooney of Manchester United.