Mark Harrison eyes Ngezi Platinum job

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Mark Harrison

BY HENRY MHARA

FORMER Caps United and Highlanders coach Mark Harrison is among the coaches who have reportedly applied for the vacant Ngezi Platinum Stars coaching role.

The Mhondoro-Ngezi-based side is without a coach after parting ways with Rodwell Dhlakama last week.

Takesure Chiragwi, who was assistant, has been elevated to coach on an interim basis.

Ngezi is yet to advertise for the position, but sources told NewsDay Sport yesterday that prospective coaches had started sending in their CVs for the job.

Harrison, according to the source, is the most high-profile candidate on the list of people who have shown interest so far.

“CVs have started coming in and the list is growing with each passing day. There are several foreign nationals who have applied, including Mark Harrison and a Croatian national. Locals, some of whom are attached, have also shown interest,” a source said.

The Englishman, who currently coaches a league side in Kenya, has had stints with several local clubs, including Caps United and Harare City.

His last job in Zimbabwe was with Highlanders who severed ties with him in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

No comment could be obtained from Ngezi chief executive officer Nyasha Kadenge, but a club source said they were not in a rush to appoint Dhlakama’s successor.

“The leadership is divided on what to do next, but the majority, it appears, want to give Chiragwi a chance for continuity’s sake,” the source said.

A highly-rated former Shabanie Mine coach, Chiragwi has been assisting Dhlakama since 2019 when they were appointed at the club.

It’s not clear why the club took a radical decision to fire Dhlakama given his track record since taking over, where he is credited for transforming the team.

With him at the helm, there was genuine hope that the ambitious club would finally win the league championship this year, which has been elusive for the team since 2016.

Dhlakama’s major highlight at Madamburo, as the team is affectionately known by its fans, was leading them to two Chibuku Super Cup finals, including last year when they agonisingly lost to FC Platinum after a penalty shootout.

The club also looked to be going in the right direction in the Premier Soccer League this season, where it was unbeaten in the three matches that it played.

They won two and drew one. Only Manica Diamonds, yet to drop points, have a better record this term.

In sacking Dhlakama, the club said it was sending him on an indefinite leave.

“We confirm that the Ngezi Platinum Stars Football Club board has appointed Takesure Chiragwi as the interim head coach with immediate effect,” Kadenge said in a statement on Thursday.

“Before this appointment, Takesure Chiragwi was the first assistant coach of the club. Rodwell Dhlakama, the head coach, is on a mutually agreed indefinite leave of absence, which has given rise to the appointment of Chiragwi.

“We are confident that Takesure Chiragwi is well equipped to lead the team as we resume PSL football action after the Afcon [Africa Cup of Nations] break.”

Chiragwi, who leads a technical team that includes Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu and Alexio Sigion, will take charge of his first league match as head coach when the season resumes on Saturday.

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