De Jongh relishes FCP challenge

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© DUTCHMAN Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh has vowed to bring more success to FC Platinum after he was unveiled as the treble Zimbabwe champions’ new coach in Zvishavane yesterday.

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De Jongh got his first taste of local football after he was appointed Highlanders coach in August last year before leading the Bulawayo giants to a fifth place finish and Chibuku Super Cup glory during his brief stay.

As a result of his success in Bulawayo, Pure Platinum Play felt the Dutchman was the ideal candidate to be Norman Mapeza’s permanent replacement.

Lizwe Sweswe was took charge of the team ever since Mapeza’s sudden resignation in September last year.

Under Sweswe, the Zvishavane-based side won the 2019 Castle Lager Premiership title to add to the two other they had already in their cabinet from the 2018 and 2017 seasons.

De Jongh is aware he is joining a top club accustomed to success and that standards will be expected to be maintained at Mandava Stadium.  

“I feel happy to be at FC Platinum. They are a professional side in the way they do their things. I don’t look at short time, I look for longer period. I’m looking to have bigger success with the club. It’s not easy but if you work hard you will be successful,” de Jongh said.

“I know the former coach did a great job. He was a former player for Zimbabwe but I’m here to improve the team and take them to the next level.

“But I cannot do it alone I need support from my staff and everyone at the club. I believe with good cooperation we can be a huge success.

“In football, you are judged every day and every day I strive to improve and do even better than before.”

The nomadic Dutchman, who has had coaching stints back in his native Netherlands, Moldova, Hungary, Mongolia, Kenya and South Africa, believes Pure Platinum Play have made great strides since their promotion into the top flight in 2011 making them a sort-after destination for any coach.

“I’m an ambitious person. I want to work on a big platform and for me that is FC Platinum. My focus is on Platinum and nowhere else,” de Jongh said.

“It feels good to be here. It’s everyone’s dream to be part of a big organisation like FC Platinum.”

Meanwhile, de Jongh has also appointed former Highlanders goalkeepers coach Tembo Chuma to be part of his backroom staff at Mandava Stadium. The duo worked together at Bosso.

De Jongh does not have any time to sit in his laurels as his first assignment as FC Platinum coach will be the decisive African Champions League group game against Egyptian giants Al Ahly at Barbourfields Stadium this Saturday.

The Zimbabwean champions are currently winless in Group B after three consecutive defeats to Al-Hilal (2-0), Etolie du Sahel (0-3) and Al Ahly (2-0).

FC Platinum need to beat the Red Devils this weekend to keep their hopes of making it into the quarter-finals of the competition alive.  

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