BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS have been boosted after new technical manager Hendrik Pieter de Jongh yesterday secured his work permit and is set to be in charge when the Bulawayo giants clash with old rivals Dynamos in the first round of the Chibuku Super Cup at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow.
The Dutchman was unveiled at the club offices yesterday evening.
Speaking at the unveiling, club CEO Nhlanhla Dube said: “The coach is a holder of a Uefa Class A licence. We are happy with recommendations we have received. We wanted a professional who would lift the mood of Highlanders.
“He started training today after his papers (work permit) came through. The contract is for four months up to December. It’s an exhibition for him. He is literally on a four-month interview. We did our due diligence in recruiting.”
De Jongh told the Press conference that: “Sunday is a big game. I hope for a good result. It’s a cup game. After a draw, it’s penalties and there will be one winner on the day. I have a good feeling about the team and club. I know the club, my friend Jay Jay Okocha made recommendations in 2015.The work permit is done and I have met the staff.”
De Jongh arrived in the country on Sunday and watched Highlanders beat Bulawayo Chiefs 3-1 at Barbourfields Stadium and yesterday, he was at Luveve Stadium watching Zifa Southern Region Premiership hopefuls Talen Vision.
The Dutchman takes over as technical manager, while incumbent Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu reverts to being assistant together with Bekithemba Ndlovu.
Mpofu and Ndlovu were assistants to Madinda Ndlovu before the Highlanders and Warriors’ legend quit the club to join Gaborone United in Botswana in July.
De Jongh had a short stint with the Eswatini national team before he was fired last year in February.
If he manages to get sorted out to sit on the bench tomorrow, he faces a tough task against a motivated DeMbare side at their favoured Rufaro.