HomeSportDe Jongh to bounce back at Highlanders?

De Jongh to bounce back at Highlanders?

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BY FORTUNE MBELE
DUTCHMAN Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh’s resignation as Somalia national team coach has fuelled speculation that he could be on his way back to Highlanders, who are on the prowl for a new coach.

De Jongh is among the names on Bosso’s wishlist following the sacking of Mandla Mpofu, with former coaches Amini Soma-Phiri, Kelvin Kaindu and Mark Harrison also in the picture.

Sources have also said Highlanders will be approaching Zifa for a waiver for recently appointed assistant coach Joel Luphahla, who does not hold requisite qualifications.

The Bulawayo giants take on ZPC Kariba at the weekend and leave on Thursday night or early on Friday morning for the resort town. They are expected to appoint an interim coach while they seek a full-time gaffer.

Mpofu was fired, along with his first assistant, Bekithemba “Super” Ndlovu, goalkeepers coach Julius Ndlovu and fitness trainer Harold Nhachi.

But it is De Jongh’s resignation as Somalia gaffer and his posts on social media that have got people talking.

Before the fateful Highlanders and Dynamos match at Barbourfields Stadium, which was called off due to crowd troubled De Jongh, posted: “Once Bosso, always Bosso. Bosso is not just a club, it is a way of life. That feeling is in your soul (sic).”

On Saturday, on the resignation from the Somalia national team, the Dutchman said: “Pieter de Jongh has resigned as coach of the national team of Somalia. De Jongh started his adventure earlier this year, but after missing the qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations and the isolated position of the country in the world, both parties agreed to stop the working relationship … Pieter De Jongh will continue his coaching career in Africa. There are various opportunities and hopefully there will be news soon on the next step.”

One fan asked him to come back to Highlanders on social media and the gaffer’s response was: “I am available.”

When De Jongh left Highlanders at the end of 2019 to join FC Platinum after his contract expired, there appeared to be bad blood between him and Highlanders as shown by his comments when he was at the Zvishavane-based
club.

One of his comments in local daily was: “I feel happy to be here at FC Platinum. Everything here is professional both on and outside the pitch. I was not surprised to get a call from FC Platinum. I am 49 years old; 29 years of coaching in 12 different countries in the world. I have a good CV and lots of experience. Everyone knows my contract at Highlanders expired at the end of the (last) year and as a coach, you go looking to see what is best for you, what is best for your future and what is best label to work for and Platinum called me at the moment and made a good impression. I could see they are very professional.”

Then, Bosso was led by Kenneth Mhlophe as chairman.

Maybe the Johnfat Sibanda-led executive committee has other ideas.

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