© MARK Harrison has promised to turn Highlanders into title contenders again after he was appointed as the new Bosso technical manager on a two-year deal.
The Briton has been in negotiations with the Bulawayo giants for the past few weeks and the former CAPS United and Harare City coach finally signed on the dotted line on Monday evening.
Harrison will come in as a direct replacement for Dutchman Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh, who did not renew his contract at the end of the 2019 Castle Lager Premiership season.
De Jongh led Bosso to a fifth place finish in the league and Chibuku Super Cup glory before resurfacing at champions FC Platinum where he was unveiled on Monday as their new coach.
Although they won the Chibuku Super Cup last year and the Mbada Diamonds Cup in 2014, the league title has eluded Highlanders since 2006.
Since then, the closest Bosso have come to ending the title drought was consecutive second place finishes during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
In the other seasons, the Bulawayo giants have been below par something which their demanding huge fan base does not tolerate.
The nomadic Harrison is fully aware that he has taken on a huge task in agreeing to lead the country’s oldest football club but is confident he can turn the team into a competitive outfit challenging on all fronts.
The 59-year-old is still in Derby where he is now awaiting his work permit before travelling to Bulawayo to get down to business ahead of the 2020 season.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Highlanders. It’s a huge opportunity for me that requires a huge responsibility from me,” Harrison told the Daily News yesterday.
“Highlanders are a huge club with a big following and as a professional coach; you always want to play before such crowds. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
“But of course I’m not going to put my neck on the wall to say we will win the championship but obviously what I can promise is that we will be able to compete with anyone.
“My philosophy remains the same, I want to play attractive and entertaining brand of football. I prefer beautiful football.
“I want my players to know that they can go out there and express themselves and become stars.”
Harrison is convinced he is joining a stable club which will offer him an opportunity to build something special.
“I was convinced by the strength of Highlanders as a club and an institution, and on the field in a sporting sense,” he said.
“I looked at things from a football point of view. They are a club that should be fighting for honours and that’s what pushes me.
“The discussions I had with the club’s leadership convinced me that I found people very keen to look at the direction of the club in a sporting sense.
“It’s imprudent to promise something when there are so many uncertainties, but at the same time not to be impossible dreaming about that happening.”
Meanwhile, Bosso are scheduled to hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on January 26 at their sports club.
“It’s confirmed the annual general meeting will be happening here. We are expecting members to come and deliberate issues to do with the club as we are guided by the constitution,” Highlanders spokesperson Ronald Moyo told the Daily News.
“It will be also the opportunity to deliberate the way forward while also reviewing the previous year as we assess our performance.
One of the items that is likely to dominate the indaba is the issue regarding club chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube’s contract.
Dube’s initial deal at Highlanders expired at the end of 2018 which set off an internal strife that sucked the board and the executive.
In the end, Dube stayed on last season but executive vice chairperson Modern Ngwenya and secretary-general Israel Ndlovu were briefly suspended over the issue.