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MBABANE – A total of 15 applications have been received but a two-horse race looms large for the vacant national team Sihlangu Semnikati coaching post.

Former head coach Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga, whose contract was not renewed by the National Football Association of Swaziland (NFAS) when it expired in November, is set to battle it out with well-travelled Belgian coach, Tom Saintfiet.
Bulunga, is one of the only two Swazi coaches who have sent through their applications. The other coach is Anthony Mdluli.

The rest of the applications, mainly holders of Pro-Licence qualification, come from as far as Brazil, Portugal, Republic of Ireland and Serbia.
Saintfiet, who has coached Malawi’s Flames, Zimbabwe’s Warriors, Togo’s Sparrow Hawks, Namibia’s Desert Warriors, Ethiopia, Trinidad & Tobago and South Africa’s Premier Soccer League outfit, Free State Stars, is not applying for the Sihlangu coaching post for the first time. He was touted as a favourite to land the job before the NFAS decided to hand it to Swiss born Raoul Savouy.

An informed source within the NFAS Executive Committee told the Times Sports Desk, after the football mother body’s retreat held at Pigg’s Peak Hotel over the weekend, that 15 coaches had shown interest in the leading the national team, which is set to participate in three tournaments in four months.

The nation’s pride’s busy schedule includes participation as early as March in the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 qualifiers, COSAFA Castle Cup and CHAN. Swaziland is in Group J, a tough group which includes North African giants in the likes of AFCON Egypt, Tunisia and Niger.
“There are about 15 applications that have come through and the interviews have started.

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