Highlanders are set to appoint Mark Harrison as head coach following the departure of Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh who has crossed over to FC Platinum ahead of the 2020 Premier Soccer League season.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Harrison (60) left Harare City last July, having joined the Sunshine City Boys after a stint with Caps United.
He also coached Botswana’s Township Rollers.
He was one of the coaches that Bosso considered late last year when they were looking for a coach until they settled for De Jongh.
Although Highlanders yesterday said they were still going through a number of names that are interested in the job, an impeccable club source confirmed that the Bulawayo giants were tying loose ends into bringing in Harrison.
“Obviously the club is keeping it under wraps until everything is in place, but it is Harrison whom they want. It has not finalised as yet, but he is the frontrunner. They (Highlanders) are still in negotiations with him,” the source said.
Club spokesperson Ronald Moyo yesterday said they were still in the process of coming up with the suitable candidate.
“There are many people who are interested in the job. We are still going through the process to find out who is suitable for the job. Once that has been settled, then the club will go official on who takes over,” Moyo said.
A club supporter in the diaspora has committed to taking care of part of Harrison’s salary with the other part being paid for by the club’s sponsors, NetOne.
Harrison, a Uefa A licence holder, started his coaching career in England 25 years ago and took charge of the Bangladesh national team at the turn of the millennium before heading to South Africa where he coached in the lower division after which he went to Maldives.
He has also been in charge at Mpumalanga Black Aces, Chippa United and Lamontville Golden Arrows in the South African top league.
When he left Caps to join Township Rollers in Botswana, he won the 2015-2016 championship with the side and was named Coach of the Year in a season in which the side was also runner-up in that country’s premier cup tournament, the Mascom Top 8 Cup, losing 3-1 to Orapa United in the final.
He returned to Zimbabwe to join Harare City in 2017 as technical director and as coach the following year.
Sources have said Mandla Mpofu will be retained as assistant with Julius Ndlovu as goalkeepers’ coach while second assistant coach Bekithemba Ndlovu is rumoured to be making his way back to head Bulawayo City if coach Try Ncube who was in charge of the club in Division One, is not exempted to coach in the top league by Zifa.
Ncube does not hold the pre-requisite Caf A licence to coach in the Premier Soccer League.