By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
FC Platinum coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh is reportedly among applicants for the vacant Warriors’ job.
A new Warriors’ head coach is set to be unveiled by the end of this month before resumption of the Fifa 2022 World Cup qualifiers in March.
Zimbabwe are in Pot 3 and will be drawn against any of the seeded teams — Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, and DR Congo.
The matches will be played at Barbourfields Stadium following the condemnation of the National Sports Stadium by a Caf grounds inspection team.
The draw for the Caf group stage matches will be conducted in Cairo, Egypt, on January 20 and Zifa are keen to have their man in time so that he familiarises himself with the working environment.
“De Jongh submitted his papers to the association and he will go through the normal vetting processes just like everyone else whose papers are with the association. The Technical and Development Committee chaired by Bryton Malandule is likely going to meet this week to recommend to the executive committee their preferred candidate as you know that the final decision lies with the executive committee in terms of the Zifa constitution,” said a Zifa source.
De Jongh, who had a largely successful but short stint with Bosso, is believed to have signed a long-term contract with league champions FC Platinum.
Other coaches that applied for the Warriors’ job include another former Highlanders’ coach and Dutchman Erol Akbay, Spaniard Manuel “Manolo” Marquez Roca, Hans Michael Weiss of Germany, Kosta Papic of Serbia and Zdravko Logarusic of Croatia.
Former Warriors interim and Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas is the only Zimbabwean that applied for the job.
“Zimbabwe has good players playing in Africa and Europe. That’s why I think the country is now ripe to qualify for the World Cup. I think I am the right man for the job right now because I know Zimbabwean players and I know what Zimbabwean people want. My job is just to come up with a good team that plays good football and score many goals.
“We also have to do better at the Africa Cup of Nations finals. What I want is for people to come to the stadium in numbers. Honestly, I have no idea what chance I have of landing this job, but I hope Zifa will give me a chance so that I can give the people what they want. I am ready for it,” Akbay told our Harare Bureau.
Last week Malandule told Chronicle Sport that their choice for coach will be influenced by the association’s financial position as they don’t want to engage someone whose salary they might not be able to meet. The Chronicle