The ECCO colossus

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FRANCISTOWN: He bestrides the training ground of ECCO City Greens like a colossus and his high-pitched voice is echoed through the classrooms of Phatsimo Primary School as he issues instructions to the boys. "Yes, let's go! Let's go! When he takes the ball we should be making a follow-up.

As soon as they touch the ball, we should be defending. One, two, three should be attacking," shouts Barry Daka, the man who guided ECCO to become the first team from the north to win the national soccer title. Earlier, ECCO spokesperson, Nelson Legwatagwata had warned Mmegi Sport that Daka does not like talking to press "Owai! You say you want to interview him (Daka)? I doubt it.

Anyway, you can go and see him," Legwatagwata said. Surprisingly, Daka was as cool as a dove when Mmegi Sport approached him surrounded by a group of his charges in the middle of the pitch. His only qualm was that he was alone on the day as his assistants were held up by some other commitments.

"If you do not mind you can wait for me to finish training. Otherwise, we will just have to meet tomorrow," he said, good-naturedly. After training, he said: "Yes, this is my garage. Or you may call it a workshop if you want. This is where we make plans which must then be followed up." The strategies for the downfall of adversaries are hatched from Monday to Friday at the 'workshop'. Daka was crowned coach of the year after he led ECCO to the national title. His goalkeeper Michael Onkutule was declared the safest pair of hands in the just-ended season.

Daka is definitely a man with a Midas touch as it took him only one season to transform the previously unknown ECCO City Greens into a side to reckon with.  He had previously coached Notwane and it is understood there was some kind of financial dispute when he packed his bags and headed home to Zimbabwe until ECCO brought him back.

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