The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS have offered their coach, Hendrik Pieter de Jongh a one-year contract, with all now up to the Dutchman to decide if he is accepting the deal or not.
Nhlanhla Dube, the Highlanders chief executive officer said a fresh deal has been made available to De Jongh and it is now up to him and his handlers to make a decision.
“A new contract has been discussed and offered. It is now with the coach and his people for final consideration,’’ Dube said in an interview.
Sources said the coach was meant to have signed the new contract before he leaves the country in a few days but information obtained yesterday was to the effect that De Jongh had not put pen to paper on anything. With better offers said to be being made to the Dutchman as well as a poisonous working situation at Highlanders, there is even the possibility that De Jongh might not come back. Our sister newspaper B-Metro reported that De Jongh has openly clashed with Dube in front of players.
“I don’t think De Jongh will sign, there is a toxic environment at Highlanders plus he has better offers,’’ our source said.
De Jongh has been linked with a move to three times in a row Zimbabwean champions FC Platinum as a replacement for Norman Mapeza. Lizwe Sweswe has been in charge of the Zvishavane-based team on an interim basis since Mapeza quit the job in September.
De Jongh presided over 11 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches for Highlanders since he came in on a four-month deal at the end of September. He won four, drew five and lost one. His biggest achievement was winning the Chibuku Super Cup where he was in charge of Bosso’s four matches in the competition, with a 1-0 triumph over Ngezi Platinum Stars in the final.