Civo United have settled for Blantyre United coach Elia Kananji to replace sacked veteran trainer â€˜Sirâ€™ Alex Masanjala, Civoâ€™s vice-general secretary Charles Gwengwe confirmed on Wednesday.
Kananji, who is respected for making the most of modest Blantyre United, emerged as the favourite for the post during Civoâ€™s executive committee meeting held on Tuesday, said Gwengwe.
â€œWe will sit down with him to agree on the terms of the draft contract. But one thing for sure is that it will be long term. I cannot say on the actual number of years,â€ said Gwengwe.
Masanjala, who during his four year-stay earned the Presidential Cup (their first trophy in over 15 years) and finished in two cup finals, lost his job due to a run of dismal results.
But Gwengwe claimed that there would be no targets for Kananji, who took over the mantle at Blantyre United last season from Leo Mpulula who switched to Azam Tigers.
Usually, clubs set targets such as winning trophies and league titles.
â€œThatâ€™s not what we do. We just want the club to be progressing in terms of producing consistent results instead of retrogressing as has been the case. He will also be expected to ensure that Civo live up to their reputation of producing quality players,â€ said Gwengwe.
Civo have no regular in the Flamesâ€™ best XI, but fringe players such as Pilira Makupe, John Lanjesi and Emmanuel Zoya.
Kananji, who was shortlisted alongside Charles Manda, Thom Mkolongo and Dan Dzinkambani, on Wednesday said he was discouraged by squabbles that have ensued in Civo camp over his possible hiring.
â€œAfter consulting, I made up my mind and told Civo management that I am keen on joining them but then there were disagreements in their camp with some demanding reasons for Masanjalaâ€™s sacking. This has put me off and I told Civo yesterday [Tuesday] to let me concentrate on my Blantyre United job,â€ Kananji said.
But Gwengwe insisted that Civo are optimistic about bringing Kananji to Lilongwe at all cost. Civo captain Chon Beni on Wednesday said the executive committee was yet to brief players on the choice of the coach.
Blantyre United Lawson Nakoma on Wednesday insisted that they sat down with Kananji in view of the rumours and he assured them of his staying put.