By Sports Reporter
DUTCH coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh has promised to turn around the club’s faltering fortunes in the CAF Champions League after being unveiled as the New head coach of the Zvishavane-based club on Monday morning.
De Jongh, who had a very successful short stint with Highlanders after guiding them to the Chibuku Super Cup title last year, was unveiled at Mandava stadium together with goalkeepers coach Tembo Chuma.
The new look technical team also features Lizwe Sweswe who reverts to his previous role as assistant coach after a stint as the club’s interim coach since the departure of Norman Mapeza last year in October.
De Jongh says his long term main target is to improve the club’s performance in the CAF Champions League in which they are struggling to make a mark after losing all their opening three matches in the group stages thus far.
His first test will be against eight time African Champions Al Ahly on Saturday in a Group B return leg at Barbourfields stadium, with hopes of ending their winless spell.
They are the only winless side in group B, having lost all three matches, 2-1 to Sudanese side Al Hilal, before 3-0 drubbing at home to Etoile du Sahel from Tunisia.
In their last match, FC Platinum succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Al Ahly in Cairo a fortnight ago.
“I am happy with the welcome I have received here. This club is an emblem of co-operation. I am here to bring more success,” he said.
“I don’t look at short term goals, I am focusing on long term goals which is to bring more exciting football, more possession and attacking football to this club.”
The Dutch coach credited Mapeza for the good job he did after leading the side to two successive titles and laying the foundation for a third successive Premier Soccer League trophy which was achieved by Sweswe during his stint as interim coach.
“The previous coach did a very good job at the club, he was a very good Zimbabwean player. So I hope to deliver more for the club and keep the growing history of this club. I hope to use my qualities to help the team move to the next level and with good co-operation, I believe all this can be possible,” he said.
The former Highlanders coach faces a tough task to rebuild the squad following the departure of six senior players whose contracts were not renewed.
Goalkeeper Wallace Magalane, holding midfielder Devon Chafa, attacking midfielders Charles Sibanda and Rodwell Chinyengetere as well as forwards Albert Eonde and Mkhokheli Dube left FC Platinum last week.
Meanwhile, De Jongh also took the opportunity to dismiss recent reports that he was also targeting the vacant the Warriors job.