The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ long time benefactor Tshinga Dube has said he is sceptical of the club’s ability to pay an expatriate coach.
Dube, who was heavily involved in the hiring of Dutchman Erol Akbay in 2016 and other expatriates in the past, said there was nothing sinister about the executive’s stance to hire a foreign coach, but the club should guard against a backlash from the world football body Fifa in the event they fail to pay the foreign mentor.
“There’s nothing wrong about hiring a foreign coach but it’s the ability to pay that individual that matters and I’m not sure if Highlanders have the capacity to do so. I didn’t have a hand in hiring him. I believe he is a man with experience to lift the team though I don’t know much about him,” he said.
Dube however, said the precarious position, which Bosso finds itself in on the log was largely due to the club’s failure to invest in the acquisition of a goal poacher.
“The coaches that we have had not failed but I believe they didn’t have the right ammunition. I think sometimes you need more than a coach for the team to go on top because if you have watched the team it plays impressive soccer and gives false hopes that it will win the next game. To win games you need a striker with a goal poaching instincts and we don’t have one,” he said.
Dube credited former coach Madinda Ndlovu with putting in place a highly competitive team built around youngsters. The in-coming substantive coach Dutchman Pieter de Jongh is expected in the country tomorrow.
Kenneth Mhlophe, the Highlanders chairman told this publication that the new coach to take over from Madinda Ndlovu who left the club to join Botswana side Gaborone United will be in Bulawayo this week.
“The new coach will be in the city on Monday. He is only here for some formalities while we work on his documentation and work permits. He will only be unveiled after all the paperwork has been completed,” he said.
Mhlophe said the executive still has faith in the other technical department members. This is an indication that Mandla Mpofu, Bekithemba Ndlovu and Tembo Chuma will continue in their roles even with the coming in of De Jongh.
“Remember Lulu (Mandla Mpofu) took over as the head of the technical department on an interim basis and with the coming of the new coach he will revert to his duties of being the assistant coach so as is Beke (Bekithemba Ndlovu),” said Mhlophe.
He said they were concerned with the poor performance of the team despite the arsenal at its disposal.
“As an executive we are really puzzled just like the rest of the Bosso family as to why the team is failing to post good results because if you look at our squad in terms of quality players it’s probably the best in the league but still a winning formula continues to elude us,” said Mhlophe.
Pundits have said Bosso’s squad with an average age of 22 is probably the best the team has ever assembled since it last tasted the championship in 2006. However, there have been concerns that team manager, Vezigama Dlodlo was punching above his weight, owing to ill discipline reported in camp.
The 48-year-old De Jongh holds a Uefa A, B and C coaching badges, a youth trainer coaching diploma and a Fifa technical director certificate all approved by KNVD (Royal Dutch Footbal Association). He has previously coached AFC Leopards of Kenya guiding them to the final of the Cecafa Cup in Sudan in 2014 as well as reaching the final of the Top 8 Cup in that country. Closer to home, he took charge of South African side FC Cape Town for six months before leaving for Rwanda to take up a job as the Football Federation of Rwanda technical director.