Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Meet Zimbabwe Warriors Performance Analyst James Makoni.

Football has changed radically over the years as technology and analytics advances in today’s game, In this new era of data, coaches and teams now rely heavily on analyst to help them improve their game and Zimbabwe national team is not legging behind in this matter.

The Zifa normalization committee, in one of the few notable improvement they have impacted so far to the national team, appointed James Makoni as Zimbabwe’s first professional performance analyst in a long time.

Before the appointment of James Makoni- during Brito Baltemar’s tenure – the Warriors used not to have a professional performance analyst like James Makoni- not in recent memory.

James Makoni poses for a photo during his first time out with the Warriors under coach Brito Belmar.

So who is James Makoni, the young and fresh mind that is slowly dynamising Zimbabwe national team football.

The 27-year-old United Arab Emirates-based Makoni is a former Friendly Academy juniors player who decided to hang his boots at an early age to persue coaching.

At the age of 16, he was already a volunteer coach with the MK Dons juniors in the United Kingdom.

He managed to attain a UEFA C coaching license and a PFSA level 3 in Advanced Reporting with the English Football Association.

In 2019, Makoni was lured to join United Arab Emirates based side, Gulf United to coach in their academy after a successful stinct with MK Dons juniors.

At Gulf United, Makoni continued to improve his curriculum vitae incorporating data science and talent scouting into his knowledge of the game.

He went on to attain the PFSA level 3 in Performance analysis with English FS and a PFSA level 3 in Talent Identification with the English FA.

In 2023 upon completion of his courses, Makoni was attached at Newcastle United as a Performance Analyst where he worked under Eddie Howe for the season, helping the team to secure a UEFA champions league spot.

On his return to his parent club in UAE, Makoni was elevated to the senior team where he joined Wales international coach Neil Taylor, as a Performance Analyst.

Makoni on duty at his parent club Gulf United in UAE.

He helped Gulf United to lift the league title after coming in the middle of the season and Zimbabwe Warriors is the new exciting chapter in his growing career.

At the national team level, besides helping Brito Baltemar in the first two World cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Rwanda, Makoni has also worked with Norman Mapeza during the four nations tournament in Malawi where Zimbabwe finished as runners-up.

His duties in the national team include providing the head coach with key information about upcoming opponents, and often providing information during a match situation or at half-time about areas of the team and the opposition team that can help change the game. Another key duty of Makoni in the team is to provide a thorough review of the performance once the match is over, giving the coaching staff and players information about weaknesses – so they can be rectified – and strengths, which can be further developed.

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