HomeSliderDe Jongh ‘interested in Caps job’

De Jongh ‘interested in Caps job’

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BY HENRY MHARA
FORMER Highlanders coach Hendrikus “the Champ” Pieter de Jongh is “one of the several coaches that have shown interest” in the vacant Caps United job, the club president has said.

The Green Machine are without a coach after sacking Darlington Dodo on Tuesday following a string of poor results in the Chibuku Super Cup, where the Harare giants failed to go beyond the group stages.

The club yesterday announced that it had also fired Dodo’s assistants Takura Shariwa, Stewart Murisa and Joseph Takaringofa.

Goalkeepers coach Witness Mnkuli and fitness coach Vincent Chabwana were also shown the exit in a major shake-up of the team’s technical department just a few days before the start of the Premier League season.

Club president Farai Jere yesterday told NewsDay Sport that a number of coaches, including De Jongh, had contacted him over the vacant coaching job.

“There are several coaches who have shown interest. The former Highlanders coach phoned me today, he wants to coach the team. He is one of the several coaches who have shown interest. We are in the process of selecting a suitable candidate and we will have a new coach very soon,” he said.

De Jongh joined Highlanders in 2019 and became a fan favourite after enjoying a good run of results, where he lost just once in the 16 league matches he took charge.

He went on to win the Chibuku Super Cup for the club.

But the allure of Caf Champions League football saw him moving to FC Platinum in January last year.

He did not last long at Mandava as he did not have the requisite qualifications to coach in the African Safari.

The Dutchman is a holder of a Uefa A coaching licence, but a Caf A badge is required to coach in Caf interclub competitions.

Jere could not be drawn into disclosing if De Jongh was one of the three candidates that the Green Machine had reportedly shortlisted for the job.

Reports suggest that former club coach Lloyd Chitembwe tops the list of the coaches the club is courting.

Chitembwe is currently coaching league rivals Harare City after dumping Caps United two years ago.

“It’s just mere speculation,” said Jere about Chitembwe.

“We will announce the new coach when we are through with the selection process.”

The former club midfielder would be the natural choice for Caps fans after he led them to a league title in 2016 and had a decent run in the Caf Champions League, where they reached the group stages.

He dumped the club when they were on the brink of winning the league title to join City.

The sources said Caps United’s decision to dissolve the entire technical team was to clear the way for Chitembwe, who always moves with his backroom staff which includes Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi and Nelson Matongorere.

Dodo presided over a poor run in the Chibuku Super Cup tournament with Caps, who were eliminated in the group stages, winning just two matches from a possible 10.

The league season, which is returning for the first time since 2019, starts tomorrow with a match between Chitembwe’s City and Herentals.

Caps United begin their league campaign with an away tie against ZPC Kariba.

Matches will be played across the country after Zifa’s First Instance Board announced yesterday that it had allowed the use of Ascot Stadium, the home of Whawha, and Gibbo, which hosts Triangle.

The other stadiums that have been approved to host league matches are the National Sports Stadium, Barbourfields, Luveve, Baobab, Nyamhunga, Sakubva and Mandava.

Rufaro Stadium has been excluded as the Harare City Council-owned facility is in a derelict state, and its unavailability puts pressure on the National Sports Stadium as there are six premier league teams based in Harare.

Some teams could be forced to move to Sakubva Stadium in Mutare and Baobab in Mhondoro-Ngezi.

Meanwhile, the Premier Soccer League yesterday announced the gate charges for the matches.

An ordinary ticket has been pegged at US$10, while the grand stand ticket is priced at US$15. VIP tickets are going for US$20.

“Payments can be made through swipe or EcoCash at the prevailing Zimdollar interbank equivalent. Selling points will be announced in due course,” PSL communications and media liaison officer Kudzai Bare wrote yesterday.

Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Week 1 fixtures

Tomorrow: Harare City v Herentals (National Sports Stadium)

Saturday: FC Platinum v Tenax (Mandava), ZPC Kariba v Caps United (Nyamhunga), Chicken Inn v Craneborne Bullets (Luveve), Black Rhinos v Highlanders (National Sports Stadium), Ngezi Platinum v Bulawayo City (Baobab)

Sunday: Dynamos v Yadah (National Sports Stadium), Bulawayo Chiefs v Triangle (Luveve), Manica Diamonds v WhaWha (Sakubva)

Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara

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