NYOKA (snake) is not a moniker that any African would carry with pride, largely because of the continent’s superstitious beliefs.
REPORT BY ALBERT MARUFU
A person who answers to such a name is deemed dangerous to the society, but not for Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro.
To him and his former teammates, it is a reminder of the years gone by when he was a slippery Dynamos winger in the early 1970s.
Chihoro was a menace to any opposition on the right wing and the late teammate Shaw Handriade likened him to a snake when he arrived as a junior player at Dynamos in 1971. To this day, the moniker has stuck to him like glue.
Unfortunately Chihoro’s arrival at Dynamos was during the days of five-time Soccer Star of the Year George Shaya, who played in the same position, giving him no chance to make a breakthrough. He had to be loaned to then Super League side KB Rockets in 1978.
Chihoro, a staunch Dynamos fan, started his career as a 15-year-old in the Dynamos junior ranks in 1971 before breaking into the first team in 1973.
However, despite his undoubted natural talent, he could not establish himself in the first team resulting in him being loaned.
“I remember in one of my games we beat my former team Dynamos, but I was not happy at all. I played for KB Royals for two years before joining Mutapa Royals which was in Division One,” he said.
However, it was an injury to CAPS United striker Shacky Tauro in 1984 that saw him joining the then pharmaceutical side where he played for a season.
“I played for a season for CAPS United and enjoyed my stay there. However, I got a job at Cone Textiles and helped the club gain promotion in to the Premiership in 1986. I retired in 1987 and started coaching amateur side Cafca.
“By 1992 we were in the second Division but I joined the late Isaah Harawa’s Unique Select until 2004 when the team’s franchise was sold to Harare United.
“At Unique Select I worked with good players such as Mike Temwanjira and Wilbert Mandiopera,” said the CAF Level Two Coaching Certificate holder.
His breakthrough into the Dynamos technical department came in 2006 when he was invited by David Mandigora to help as an assistant coach with the senior team.
“In 2005 I was coaching the Dynamos Under-12 team which had players such as Chitiyo and Jaure and we did not lose even a single match. I was promoted by head coach Mandigora to the senior team as assistant coach together with David George. We won the 2007 championship and played in the 2008 CAF Champions League before being fired in 2009 following a string of poor results,” he said.
He however, bounced back into the Dynamos structures in 2010 as team manager under head coach Lloyd Mutasa. Even the change of guard with the coming in of Kalisto Pasuwa saw him holding on to his position and he was part of the team that retained everything that was on offer last season.
Chihoro said he started laying the groundwork of the team’s success in 2005 as a junior coach.
“I did not achieve much as a player but I can give back in the technical team. I remember a number of players who are in the Premiership who passed through my hands.
“I coached Partson Jaure when he was 12 years old, together with Monomotapa’s Ronald Chitiyo in 2005 when Dynamos revived its junior policy. Unfortunately the club did not have money to hang on to junior players and Chitiyo left the club. I am happy with how his career has progressed and I remember him as a very skillful player,” he said.
Chihoro, who also coached the now Unique Select in Division One, dismissed the strong belief prevalent in the modern day football on the use of juju.
“Juju does not work at all. Players should just train hard and results will come. People can use a lot of stuff [bute] like snuff, but it does not work at all. It is just a question of mind games,” he said with a chuckle.
It’s not easy to manage dynamos — Chihoro
Chihoro however, admitted that it is never an easy task to manage a big club such as Dynamos, as there is so much noise every season with regards to player registration.
“My job is not an easy one at all. However, the experience that I got from working with company teams like Cone Textiles prepared me for this tough task. Most of the time the club’s chairman and the secretary general would be busy so you will have to do everything,” he said.