By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
HIGHLANDERS’ head coach Mark Harrison has received his work permit and now officially takes charge of the Bulawayo giants’ pre-season preparations that were being overseen by assistant coaches Mandla Mpofu and Bekithemba Ndlovu.
According to Highlanders’ chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube, the Briton received his work permit on Tuesday.
“It’s all sorted out now; his papers are in order and he is already on the ground working,” said Dube.
Harrison penned a two-year contract with Highlanders, taking over from Dutchman Pieter de Jongh, who declined to extend his four-month contract and instead chose to join reigning league champions FC Platinum.
A holder of a Uefa A coaching badge, Harrison has previously managed the Bangladesh national team from 2000-2001, South African sides Mpumalanga Black Aces, African Warriors, Bay Stars, Chippa United and Golden Arrows. He also had a two-year stint with Township Rollers in Botswana.
In Zimbabwe he headed the Caps United (2015) and Harare City dugouts.
The Englishman quit just four months into his marriage with Makepekepe citing non-payment of his salary.
He left Harare City to give moral support to his wife after her father fell seriously ill in the United Kingdom.
Upon arrival from the United Kingdom, Harrison immediately declared his intention to stop FC Platinum’s dominance in the local league that has seen them winning three back-to-back championships.
“FC Platinum have now won the league three titles on the bounce and I think they need to be knocked off the perch. It’s high time now.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do; I am not saying we will win the league, but that’s going to be the mentality,” Harrison declared moments after arriving in Bulawayo.
Bosso last won the league title in 2006 under Methembe Ndlovu. The following season they were toppled by perennial rivals Dynamos, who managed 64 points compared to Bosso’s 55, as they settled for the runners-up spot.
Bosso survived relegation by three points in 2008 when they ended the season with a paltry 39 points, a massive 21 points behind league winners Monomotapa.
In 2009 Highlanders finished fourth on 44 points, nine points behind champions Gunners, but the following year they took their points tally to 57 for a fourth-place finish, nine points behind Motor Action.
Tshilamoya ended 2011 perched seventh with 43 points, but came back strongly in 2012, finishing tied on 69 points with Dynamos only for the Harare giants to claim the title by virtue of a superior goal difference.
It was the same grief for the Bulawayo giants in 2013 when they ended the season tied on 55 points with Dynamos only to lose the title by goal difference.
The 2012 and 2013 end of season positions were the best for Highlanders in the period under review. The Chronicle