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GU may reunite with Zapata

Publishing Date : 08 October, 2018

Author : MOSIMANEGAPE TSHOSWANE

There is repeated speculation that Rudolph Zapata will return to his former club Gaborone United (GU) where he enjoyed a season’s little success before falling out with the club management over his unpaid salaries.


Having recently resigned at AFC Leopards of Kenya after spending only a season, the Argentinian born coach is believed to be eyeing a return move to Botswana football.  He was, not long ago, shortlisted and interviewed by Jwaneng Galaxy before the mining giants hired Portuguese coach Manuel Da Costa.


However, there remains the possibility that Prisons XI’s Philemon Makhwengwe and former Zebras head coach Peter Butler could compete for the post. Both gaffers including Zapata are close admirers of Nicholas Zakhem, GU reports claim.
Khalim Neyonzima and former player Stephen Maposa are the current incumbents in the GU hot seat, on an interim deal, but there are increasingly vocal calls for the likeable Maposa to be given the role on full-time basis after resurrecting the reds' off season campaign, securing a maiden Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) charity cup with winning prize money of P 300 000.


If he is to return, Zapata would have to accept the existing structure in place at the club particularly that a lot has changed after his departure. This is not the same Gaborone United that was run and administered under colossal politics from the club’s society that now demand quick results. It remains to be seen whether the coach will accept the GU hierarchy, despite the confidence that further significant squad strengthening will take place in the next few months.


Some quarters however mention that zapata’s ascendency at GU will have to be determined by a couple of factors at the club. As things stand, there is no clear understanding regarding the ownership of the club. Like its counterpart Mochudi Center Chiefs, Gaborone United is a club deeply wounded by factional wars.  “So the future of Zapata (if any) will be determined by who wins at the end of the day,” a source shared.


Towards the end of last season, GU’s soft-spoken gaffer was seen throwing tantrums to an extent of threatening to quit the club for good, citing poor administration at the club that also hindered him from giving his players silverware.  It is therefore not clear if the Argentinean born coach has buried the hatchet with the club. According to insiders, this probable remains low, owing to the speculation involving Butler.


While GU will only publicly address the coach situation once the issue with ownership is complete, discussions have been taking place for some time behind the scenes. The club has also sounded out potential replacements if Makhwengwe or Zapata turns them away.

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