De Jongh cranks pressure on Mpofu


FORMER Highlanders coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh says he is available and ready to rejoin the club and help it win the league title in two years if given a chance.

In an interview with Blue Sky Media yesterday, the charismatic Dutch mentor, who left Highlanders to join FC Platinum at the end of 2019, said he had to make a decision that favoured his profession and his family when he crossed the floor.

He said he only had a four-month contract with Highlanders and there was no new offer on the table for him.

“I am a professional coach and I am open for business. That means I won two prizes. In four months, I won the Chibuku Super Cup (with Highlanders) and three months later, I won the Castle Challenge Cup (with FC Platinum) and the only thing left for me to win is the title and that is my open business,” De Jongh said.

“The title is possible to win with Highlanders and the fans like me. When the fans and the club want De Jongh to come back, I remain open to come back and win the title with Highlanders in two or three years’ time. It’s a process.”

He claimed he was not out to put Highlanders gaffer Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu under any pressure, even though it is exactly what he was doing.

He said he watched the Bulawayo giants lose 2-0 to Black Rhinos last Saturday with players that looked stronger than those of two years ago.

“I respect the coach (Mpofu). At the moment, the situation is different from two years ago because there is a big sponsor and a lot of possibilities,” De Jongh  said.

He said he had strong ties with the Highlanders fans and was endeared to Zimbabwean football.

“I have a very good relationship with Highlanders fans. There is a lot of talent in Zimbabwe. There is a very competitive league, Highlanders, Dynamos, FC Platinum, Chicken Inn, Ngezi, Caps United, Manica Diamonds and Triangle, very good teams and not easy.

“I am currently living in Kenya and the league is much easier. There are two or three, four teams that are strong and in Zimbabwe, six, seven, eight teams are strong. This is a big difference. I like the football (in Zimbabwe) and there is a lot of potential,” he said.

A holder of a Uefa A coaching badge, De Jongh said he was not attached to any club in Kenya as he concentrated on his Uefa Pro Licence.

“Since I left FC Platinum, I have not been coaching because I was busy with the (Uefa) Pro course. It’s important for me to go through that course. I have done 95% and I have five days to travel to Spain to finish,” he said.

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