By Fungai Muderere
Hendrik Pieter de Jongh has officially joined FC Platinum, a development that means the champions, who have been in top flight football for ten years, have had an average of one coach every season since they were promoted.
De Jongh becomes the fourth gaffer to cross the floor from Bulawayo giants Highlanders and assume the reins at the Platinum miners after the late Benjamin Moyo, Philani Mabhena and Rahman Gumbo.
The mining outfit has seen coaches, namely Patrick Mandizha, Tendai Chikuni, Zambian Tenant Chilumba, Lloyd Mutasa, Norman Mapeza and most recently Lizwe Sweswe come and go since they were promoted to top the Premiership in 2011.
The Dutch mentor becomes the sixth official from Bosso to trek to Zvishavane considering that Peter Nkomo and recently appointed goalkeeper’s coach Tembo Chuma also came from the Bulawayo giants.
The widely travelled 49-year-old Dutch gaffer was unveiled by the three-time Zimbabwean football kings on Monday, taking over from Sweswe, who has been working on an interim basis since the departure of Mapeza in September last year.
Of the 10 coaches only Mapeza has proved his worth as he won the coveted league title twice and was on course to win a third when Sweswe took over the reins.
The platinum miners, however, have been finding it difficult to stand the heat in Africa, hence the need to beef-up their technical bench with a much experienced coach and it remains to be seen if De Jongh will be able to take PURE Platinum Play to the Promised Land.
“I think the arrival of De Jongh bodes well with our vision and ambitions as a team. We always seek to improve and as a club we believe in his experience taking us to a certain level. He is quite an experienced coach, someone who has coached various clubs and national teams in Africa.
“We also highly regard him following his success with Highlanders last year. We felt his abilities can help us locally and in the Caf competitions as well in fulfilling our vision as the best team locally and also to improve in our participation in the Champions League. We are glad he signed a long-term contract,” said FC Platinum chairman Evans Mtombeni.
Public opinion has it that the miners are using their financial muscle to cripple Highlanders and other local clubs by dangling shiny apples.
It is no wonder that out of contract Bosso midfielder Denzel Khumalo, striker Makanda and central defender Peter Mudhuwa are in the cross-hairs of the Zvishavane-based outfit.
In their maiden season in top-flight soccer, the Zvishavane team raided the Bosso dressing room snatching in their swoop Joel Ngodzo, Zephania Ngodzo, Menard Mupera, Brighton Dube and goalkeeper Talbert Shumba.
In the following seasons, ex-Bosso captain Gilbert Banda, Louis Matawu, Welcome “Waroowa” Ndiweni and Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube had to join the FC Platinum bandwagon.
It seems the Pure Platinum Play have a adopted a rag doll approach with players from their junior ranks reportedly complaining that the team is not keen to promote from their developmental sides.
Meanwhile, FC Platinum will host Egyptian heavyweights Al Ahly in a Caf Champions League tie set for Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday. Platinum have so far lost all three games in their group which also includes Sudanese giants Al Hilal and Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia. B-Metro