FRANCISTOWN: Calendar Stars coach, Vincent Chikumba says his ultimate dream is to coach in the BTC Premiership.
The former Notwane and Nico United goalkeeper was brought in as Calendar Stars coach three seasons ago taking over from Elias Chinyemba. Before his arrival, the team was experiencing a decline in performance.
Since taking over Chikumba has changed the team into a formidable side. Stars are enjoying their best season since winning promotion to the First Division North four seasons ago. The club recently defied odds to progress to the Orange FA Cup quarterfinals.
“I do not want to get carried away by what I have achieved so far. For now I just want to learn. In order to succeed in coaching, you must have a remarkable ability to learn. If you do not have a penchant for staying curious and learning you cannot succeed.
“I believe that in two years I would have learnt strategies that would help me to reach a level where I will be able to adapt my tactics over time. Changing strategies more often is what is needed for one to coach at a top level like the local elite league which is where I want to be in the near future,” Chikumba said.
He never imagined that his coaching career would be where it is today.
“I never really thought I would turn out to be a head coach. I arrived at Amakhosi FC in the 2012-2013 season as a goalkeeper coach. I had just retired from active football. During that season I was gradually roped in as an assistant coach to Boipuso Manyalo. We won promotion to the First Division during that season but I later left the club owing to personal commitments,” he said.
Chikumba credits Manyalo for his development as a coach.
“If he had not invited me to be a goalkeeper coach, I do not think I would have developed the desire to become a head coach one day. He opened doors for me. I also learnt a lot from him at Amakhosi, which eased my transition into the head coaching role,” he said.
The 40-year-old joined Stars midway through the 2016-2017 season. The club won promotion to the First Division
In the 2018-2019 season, Chikumba was thrown into the deep end. He was recalled and appointed to the position of head coach replacing Chinyemba.
This time around, he brought in Manyalo and Ndulamo Million as his assistants. Manyalo initially worked as an assistant to Chinyemba before he unceremoniously left the club.
“The two men (Manyalo and Million) have contributed significantly in my coaching career because they know a lot about the game,” he said.
Chikumba said he plans to acquire a CAF C coaching licence as soon as possible. He only has a preliminary coaching certificate obtained in 2012.
“There are very limited training opportunities for coaches in the country. I had thought that by now I would have done my CAF C licence and probably beyond that in readiness for coaching in the Premiership,” he said.
He has also set his sights on fighting for promotion to the elite league next season. “I know we have very limited resources but by next season the team will definitely be ready to fight for promotion. My players would have gained a lot of experience that would enable them to fight for the league title.”
He said their intention is to progress as far as possible in the FA Cup.
“In a cup competition anything is possible. We can go all the way to the final. Reaching the quarterfinal with a less resourced team like ours is extraordinary,” he said.
He is impressed with Pontsho Moloi’s growing credentials as one of the best coaches in the country. The two were teammates at Notwane during their playing days. “I have always known him as a good motivator and someone who is knowledgeable about the game as well, which is why I believe he has not struggled as a coach. He will achieve a lot.”
“I am also impressed by a number of former premier league and national team players who have gone into coaching and are doing well. In the near future we will not have to rely on foreign coaches, even at a national team level, to develop football here.”