By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Bulawayo — NOMADIC Dutch coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh has penned a deal with Premiership football champions FC Platinum after failing to agree terms with Bulawayo giants Highlanders, sources at the Zvishavane-based side have confirmed.
De Jongh is likely to be replaced by former Warriors assistant coach Rahman Gumbo who failed to save TelOne from relegation in the just-ended Castle Lager Premiership season.
Pure Platinum Play are likely to become the 48-year-old mentor’s 23rd football team to coach in a career spanning 29 years which began when he was a young 20-year-old after his playing career had ended prematurely due to injury.
“De Jongh is on his way to Zvishavane as our coach. Everything has been agreed and he will be officially unveiled in January when he returns from holiday. Remember Lizwe Sweswe was acting and he did really well, but it was felt that he was still green and could learn a few things from the European,” said a highly-placed source at the three-time Premiership champions.
According to the gaffer’s CV, his first coaching job was with the RKCWaalwijk’s Under-14 side in 1990, staying there up until 1994 when he was now in charge of the team’s 18 -23 year age-group.
He held many coaching posts in his native country before moving to Moldova to take charge of that country’s Under-21 side between 2012-13.
His first dance with African football was in 2014, as head coach of AFC Leopards in Kenya, leading them to the final of the Cecafa Cup in Sudan as well as the Top 8 Cup final in Kenya.
After partying ways with the Kenyan side de Jon gh came to South Africa to take charge of FC Cape Town albeit for less than a year as he was to be on the road again heading to Rwanda as the Football Federation of Rwanda’s technical director.
As in his previous stint in South Africa, he was in that position for less than a year, leaving in December 2016 to take up a head coach’s job with the Swaziland (Eswatini) national team. He lasted just five months there.
De Jongh took up a job with Supersport as a pundit in African football, based in Kenya from January 2018 to the end of that year.
From June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 he was Caf technical advisor (youth development) based in Cairo, Egypt.
De Jongh holds a Uefa A, B and C coaching badges, a youth trainer coaching diploma and a FIFA technical director certificate all licensed by KNVD (Royal Dutch Football Association).
On his career development objective, his CV reads: “To apply the best of my ability, the theoretical and practical knowledge I have acquired in my professional training, to work dynamically and flexibly and cultivate teamwork, effectiveness, personal responsibility and accountability in an organisation that can make use of and further develop my broad-based education in planning, leading and peer motivation”.
He says he has “excellent organisational and analytical skills with the ability to multi-task and implement activities and also able to work in a multi-cultural environment and committed to learning”.
“Given the right framework, I possess good judgment, initiative and sense of responsibility required to contribute to growth and success,” he says.
Top of his referral persons is Wilhelmus “Wim” Gerardus Rijsbergen, a Dutch football legend who was part of the Netherlands squad that reached the 1974 and 1978 FIFA World Cup final.
Meanwhile, Highlanders legend Gumbo has emerged as the odds on favourite to take over from de Jongh although sources at the club said only one board member was against the revered gaffer’s second romance with the Bulawayo giants. “Everyone except one board member is agreed that Gumbo takes over the reigns. He is our son, well decorated for that matter,” said a source.
Gumbo is attached to relegated TelOne where he was tasked with saving the Midlands side from relegation. This however, was not to be, although his success rate was positive in terms of games won.