BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
IT’s been 20 years since Darlington Dodo broke his leg playing for the then Northern Region Division One side Zupco Harare, signalling the end of his football career.
Once he got back on his feet the same year, i.e 1999 — he decided to undertake coaching starting off with Zupco juniors.
It has been an interesting journey since then for the soft-spoken coach who won the league as assistant coach to Moses Chunga at Gunners in 2009.
Dodo has gone on to coach in Botswana where he achieved some reasonable success as well as in Swaziland in recent years.
The 48-year-old gaffer was appointed CAPS United coach in August after the departure of Lloyd Chitembwe for city rivals Harare City with many questioning his capabilities to help the club sustain its title challenge.
But Dodo has managed to hold his on the CAPS United hot seat, opening a five-point gap at the top of the log standings with nine matches before the season ends.
Man of the moment Dodo has revealed lofty ambitions ranging from winning the local league to coaching the national team as well as producing the next Marvelous Nakamba.
“Winning the league is one of the best things that could happen to any coach and I would love to win with CAPS United this year,” Dodo told The Sports Hub.
“But as a coach you want to do more. I would love to coach at national level, be it junior national teams or the senior national team. At one time I was part of the national team as assistant to Madinda [Ndlovu] when we went to Sudan CHAN tournament in 2011, but I still want to do more. I want to come back and give my best before I can retire,” Dodo added.
And inspired by the recent breakthrough into the English Premier league by Nakamba, Dodo has been inspired to produce the next player to break into the lucrative English league.
He has made it one of his long term goals at CAPS United.
“I still feel I need to do more for football, not only winning something as a coach, but also making sure we promote a lot of youngsters. We need a lot Nakambas out there and it’s us who are supposed to produce them.
“I want to make sure I promote a lot of youngsters in my team, give them playing time and teach them a lot of things to make them become better players. I would love to see a player from CAPS United break into Europe’s big leagues,” said Dodo.
Dodo, who was part of Chitembwe’s backroom staff, began his CAPS United tenure in the worst possible manner, a 4-2 defeat to Chapungu at Ascot Stadium.
But since then, the team has won four and drawn once in five matches to lead the race for the championship.
It is the Chapungu result that made the majority of the CAPS United fans doubt Dodo’s capability to lead such a big team.
“I was not prepared for taking over because we were working very well in the technical department with coach Lloyd, but as a soldier you just have to be ready for anything.
“The Chapungu result made people doubt me as a coach considering that I did not have history with the club like Chitembwe. I knew it was a temporary setback because it’s a marathon. I think we reacted very well even sooner than I expected, so credit to the whole team,” he said.
Dodo also credited his current success at the club to his backroom staff that includes Witness Mkhuli, Taku Shariwa and club legend Stewart Murisa.
“When I brought in these guys it was not just because of mere friendship, but my knowledge of how much they know about football. Goalkeepers’ coach Witness has done well and my combination with Shariwa and Murisa is great. I think they understand me better so I think our technical team is very formidable,” Dodo said.
Some of the teams Dodo has coached include Bulawayo City, Tsholotsho, Township Rollers in Botswana and Manzini Sundowns in Swaziland.