By Langton Nyakwenda
Pieter De Jongh, a Dutch mentor who has coached the Swaziland national team and AFC Leopards of Kenya is angling for the Dynamos job as speculation over Lloyd “MaBlanyo” Chigowe’s future at the stuttering giants heightens.
The 48-year-old De Jongh, who has also worked as a technical advisor for youth development at the Confederation of African Football, is being handled by a Nigerian agent who has reportedly made contact with Dynamos.
The Harare side has lost two of their opening three Castle Lager Premier Soccer League matches and take on Herentals at Rufaro tomorrow on the back of a 0-2 defeat to Highlanders in the Independence Cup last Thursday.
Its early days and it would be too harsh to judge Chigowe after only three weeks into the 2019 PSL but names of those who could possibly succeed “MaBlanyo” are already being bandied around.
Former Ngezi Platinum Stars and Young Warriors gaffer Tonderai Ndiraya is one of them while some reports have linked Lloyd Mutasa with what would be a sensational return to the club that sacked him twice last season.
Chigowe, the man who won many hearts after masterminding DeMbare’s survival last season, has the next five games, starting with tomorrow’s banana skin encounter against Herentals, to save his job.
DeMbare play TelOne (away), ZPC Kariba (home), Yadah Stars (away) and Bulawayo Chiefs (away) in the upcoming weeks.
Dynamos spokesperson Tinashe Farawo played down his team’s links with the Dutch coach but Nigerian agent Idowu Ismail Oluwabiyi confirmed his client’s interest in the Dynamos job in a telephone interview yesterday.
“Dynamos is a big institution and every time people are interested in making it better. We always have people making enquiries and names will always be thrown around,” said Farawo.
“But in this case, it will be too early to start discussing about the future of our coach after only three games.
“We have lost two games and won one but we have put everything in place so that we start winning beginning with the game against Herentals on Monday (tomorrow).
“We also have to know that coaching is a results based job but the Dynamos executive is happy with progress so far.
“We all know Dynamos lost a fan, Chipo Nyikayaramba, in an accident in Shangani recently and we are dedicating the game against Herentals to her. Fans should come in numbers and cheer the boys as we pay tribute to the late Nyikayaramba,” added Farawo.
The Nigerian agent Oluwabiyi said: “Yes, we have made contact with Dynamos. De Jongh would like to bring Dynamos back to the top of Zimbabwean football and also back to the continent, that is the Caf Champions League.”
De Jongh coached the Swazi national team between January 2017 and February 2018 before assuming the post of technical adviser youth development at Caf between June and December 2018.
He was also Rwanda national team director back in 2016 and is a former SuperSport pundit on African football.
Dynamos have declared their intentions of returning to the African safari and believe their 5-year lucrative deal with Rudland & George could oil their way back to the top table of African club football.
However, results in their last two league matches — a 1-2 home loss against returnees Hwange and a 0-2 clobbering at Chicken Inn — have prompted some influential individuals at DeMbare to question Chigowe’s capacity to restore glory at the Mbare side.
DeMbare face Herentals tomorrow without suspended skipper Edward “Duduza” Sadomba while there are strong doubts over the availability of the impressive Cameroonian import Ngahan Claude Junior who has an ankle injury.
Chigowe will also have to make up his mind on the first choice goalkeeper as it appears the gaffer is not certain who to trust between Simba Chinani and Munyaradzi Diya.
A blundering Chinani was dropped after the Hwange loss but his replacement Diya also went on to concede twice at Chicken Inn.
Chinani was back in goals during the Independence final and again conceded twice against Highlanders.
Chapungu v Harare City (Mandava)
Manica Diamonds v Mushowani Stars (Gibbo), Highlanders v Triangle (Barbourfields), Dynamos v Herentals (Rufaro). Sunday Mail.