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MBABANE – It would appear he has the backing of his employer, the club President Archbishop Bheki Lukhele.

That is once again under fire Mbabane Swallows coach, Christopher Ennin. The Ghanaian mentor, who joined the capital giants last season, has hardly enjoyed his term as from his first spell, the fans and officials wanted him sacked but Lukhele stood by him. He was given another chance to lead the club even this season and allowed to bring in his own signings but results have not been impressive for a team that remains the only ranked side in Africa from Eswatini.

The ranking from their 2017/18 and 2018/19 exploits in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) brought all this pressure on Ennin as when he took over, the mandate did not change, he was expected to lead Swallows back the CAF Champions League as he has the same task even now amid the poor results that see them perched on position eight with 13 points to 22 for leaders Royal Leopard after nine matches.

After consecutive defeats to minnows Tambankulu Callies and rookies Rangers in the past week, Ennin is wanted out again by the supporters who bayed for his blood after the unbelievable 2-1 loss last Saturday. Callies beat them 4-2 in midweek. It was established that in reaction to the latest Ennin axe demand, the club’s president is said to have involved the President of the team’s elders, Absalom Ngwenya, to talk to the players, technical bench and management committee (MC) yesterday.

As much Ngwenya met with the club, some officials are reportedly not so content and awaited the press statement as their expectations were that Ennin does not continue as the club’s coach. However, their expectations were based on a thin line as Lukhele is alleged to have drawn the line by stating it that he still believed in the coach and if Ennin left, then that would be his goodbye too as their leader. This was affirmed by a couple of people very close to the club. The red and white Umkhonto KaShaka’a Marketing and Communications Officer, Manqoba Mabuza, had said on Monday morning on national radio, EBIS that they would make statements whenever any decisions were made. He made it known that only Lukhele as club president could fire the coach and not the supporters or management.


“Ngwenya came and first met with the players who opened up freely and all coaches were present but Ennin did not wait until the end as he left before the coaches also had their meeting with the elder where they also spoke freely as we tried to establish what the real problem was. Ennin also felt he was unsafe at the training ground but how is he going to drill the team this week then?” said an impeccable source within the club’s management. The source said that the players made it clear that their concerns were more on the head coach who they blamed for having divided the squad. “They told Ngwenya that they could not attain sound results always when the head coach was dividing them as they had said he was softer with the foreign players and very strict with the locals. They also cited gossiping between some players and the coach as one other thing that destroyed them as a club,” said one of the officials.

A couple of players who were sought to share information on the meeting that took place yesterday afternoon in Ezulwini inside Lukhele’s church compound where the team trains, declined to commit themselves. “Its best we let the elders issue out their statement as they promised to report back to the President then take it from there. We are players and ours is to play. We just want to be motivated and trusted,” said one of the players.

Ngwenya did not deny the meeting with the players but would not dwell into the contents of what was discussed. “We will issue a press statement between tomorrow (today) and Thursday (tomorrow). We will by all means inform the public what is happening,” Ngwenya said. Ngwenya responded in front of the club’s General Manager Sandile ‘Beyond 2 000’ Zwane who also wondered how this publication had gotten the news so fast but referred all queries to the elder.

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