In a surprise move, Thomas Maloya has replaced veteran Stereo Gondwe as head coach for Super League outfit Mafco FC effective June 14, Tuesday.
Mafco chairperson Major SikalkaKaliati confirmed the development in a telephone interview from Salima on Wednesday, saying Gondwe voluntarily stepped down to pave the way for Maloya, dismissing suggestions that he was forced out.
“Actually, Stereo has stepped down on his own and we have appointed Maloya as his replacement on caretaker basis. We believe he [Maloya] has the capability to lead the team to success. He has been with the team during pre-season and was also Gondwe’s assistant. He has what it takes,” said Kaliati.
Gondwe also confirmed the development in a telephone interview from Salima yesterday, saying he has been assigned other duties, but might return soon.
“I am a military person and I have been assigned other duties. I [also] want to rest a bit, but I will be back. I am still here at Mafco and will be assisting the new coach whenever my services are needed,” said Gondwe.
Kaliati dismissed suggestions that the changes might affect the team..
“We work as a unit and Maloya is not new in football as he has played at the national level. He is also an experienced coach. Maloya is a former Flames player. He also played active football for Red Lions and coached the team later on,” said Kaliati.
He said one of the targets set for the new coach is to finish at the top of the log table in the first round.
Mafco are sixth on the log table with 14 points having played nine games. The team is six points behind leaders Mighty Be Forward Wanderers.