The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
LIZWE Sweswe is hurt after leaving FC Platinum but the coach says he has no hard feelings towards the club he has called home since 2017.
After weeks of speculation that the 45-year-old was on his way out of FC Platinum as the assistant coach was said to have fallen out of favour with his boss, Pieter de Jongh, the club on Friday made an announcement that a mutual agreement had been reached for the former
Tsholotsho gaffer to leave the three times-in-a-row Zimbabwean champions. Sweswe said he was well looked after at FC Platinum where he also got to gain experience he believes will help him in future.
“FC Platinum looked after me, I also got to grow as a coach, that will help me in future, I thank the club a lot, that’s why we parted on good terms. The executive was supportive, the supporters were behind me, it’s sad for me to leave because I knew the club in and out, they were as good as family to me,’’ Sweswe said.
While not delving much on the fallout between him and De Jongh, Sweswe said he appreciates that when a new coach comes in, he wants to bring in his trusted lieutenants. Sweswe is said to have volunteered to leave the club for the sake of progress, instead of creating a stalemate where FC Platinum were forced to choose between him and the Dutchman.
“It’s the norm that whenever a new coach comes, he wants to bring in his own coaches, if he is doing it for the good of the club then I have no problem with that, if I had refused to go then things don’t go according to plan I would have been blamed. I hope De Jongh carries on from where we left, what would be bad is if the club doesn’t succeed, what I wish for is that the club continues to succeed,’’ he said.
Because of the bond created between him and the FC Platinum leadership as well as supporters, Sweswe is prepared to go back to FC Platinum should they require his services in future.
“Whenever they need my services, I will be happy to go back.”
Sweswe said he will cherish all the time he was at FC Platinum as he was part of the technical department when the Zvishavane based side won three championships in a row.
“Since 2017, I had great moments, we won our first championship, we defended it, it was great exposure for me to go to the African Champions League. I cherished every moment, when I remained as head coach, everyone was behind me, we reached the mini league phase of Champions League,’’ said Sweswe.
He is in no rush to look for a new job as he feels he needs to take a rest, spend time with the family and focus on some ventures.
“I need to take a break, with all that has been happening I need to rest a bit, spend time with my family and focus on some projects I am working on.”
Sweswe did not attend FC Platinum’s training session when the team started training as a group last Friday. Media reports have indicated that De Jongh wanted his former assistant at Highlanders, Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu to join him in Zvishavane. Mpofu has however, maintained that he was staying put at Highlanders and has not received any offer from FC Platinum. – @Mdawini_29.