Harrison rolls into Township

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Mark Harrison

JUST a day after quitting Castle Lager Premier Soccer League club Caps United, nomadic British coach Mark Harrison has been appointed as the new head coach of Botswana be Mobile side Township Rollers.

BY WELLINGTON TONI

He replaces Madinda Ndlovu, who quit two months ago.

In a statement on their official website yesterday, the club said: “Township Rollers FC is delighted to announce that Mark Harrison has been appointed as our club’s new head coach. Harrison, aged 54, has a Uefa A licence and a Diploma in Football Management, and has been involved in full-time professional football for 38 years. Having played for the top level leagues in United Kingdom and South Africa, he has also coached at all levels across the world.

“With vast amount of knowledge and experience as an international coach, he has also been exposed to many different backgrounds and cultures.

“Rollers have entered into a one-year contract with him, (performance-based) renewable for additional 2 years. This appointment is subject to the approval of work and resident permits from the Department of Labour and Immigration.”

While there were no figures on his salary, sources from Gaborone yesterday said he was likely to get between P30 000-P40 000 which Ndlovu was getting plus allowances and winning bonuses.

His first task it to lead Popa Popa, as Rollers are affectionately known by their legion of fans, in the Maize Triangle Challenge against Platinum Stars at Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg on July 11 in the first semi-final. The four-team tournament will also feature Bloemfontein Celtics and Mpumalanga Black Aces in the second semi-final.

After a roller coaster start to life at the Green Machine that started with a delayed work permit, failure to fulfil a league match against How Mine in Bulawayo, facing eviction from his lodgings and the club being bought by Farai Jere, the Briton finally decided enough was enough on Sunday.

Harrison had been linked to South African Premiership side Maritzburg United, but the club yesterday appointed Mandla Ncikazi in a caretaker position to take over from Steve Komphela, who had quit on Monday morning.

Komphela is likely to be named new Kaizer Chiefs coach today.

Harrison had also been linked with Highlanders, who are struggling under new coach Bongani Mafu, but the Briton has opted for the well-sponsored former Botswana champions. They finished third last season on 59 points, nine behind winners Mochudi Centre Chiefs.

Rollers are bankrolled by their premier sponsors Capital Bank while Umbro are the technical suppliers. Other sponsors include insurance firm Liberty, hospitality group Cresta, Bona Vision Care, Jack’s Gym and ZebraNet.

Harrison first arrived in South Africa in the 2010-2011 season and took charge of Mpumalanga Black Aces for a season. The following year he was at National First Division side African Warriors and followed that with a stint at Bay United for another 12 months.

He joined Premiership side Chippa United in 2013, but did not finish the season after being in charge for only four matches and then left for Golden Arrows before joining Black Leopards. He quit Leopards last December to join Caps United.

He was officially unveiled as Caps coach on January 15 this year.