Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS coach, Hendrik Pieter de Jongh, believes there are good quality players in his side and the country as a whole but what lacks is discipline, a strong mentality and the correct attitude.
The Dutch gaffer signed a four-month performance based contract with Highlanders FC last month, with a clause that states that he has to win at least 70 percent of the matches that he will be in charge of. Since taking over the reins at Bosso, the coach is yet to lose a match winning two and drawing one in all competitions.
The much travelled coach says his Bosso outfit has good players who just need to change a few aspects of their game to reach their full potential.
“There is a lot of talent in the country believe me, the problem is discipline, attitude, mentality and organisation. You look at our side we have good players, there is Nqobizitha Masuku for me he is very important, he has played for Buildcon I like how he plays, very aggressive and has a good pass.”
“Then you have Peter Muduhwa, if he improves on his focusing he can be one of the best defenders in the country, no doubt about that. We have different quality in our team. Our keeper is 30 years old, he is a very good guy for a coach to work with, his attitude is good. His only problem is that he is sometimes too relaxed. Prince Dube is top quality but needs to change his mentality and l have been talking to him about that.”
“Talent alone is not enough, you need discipline and the right attitude and mentality. Right now Christiano Ronaldo has been at the top level for fifteen years because he has the right mentality, attitude and good training.”
“After training with the squad, he stays behind and trains on his own practising free kicks and corner kicks that is what makes the difference. We need to have our players doing the same. Players must be at the training early, fifteen minutes before the start of a session everyone must be ready to train. Also discipline does not refer to the players alone but to the organisation of the club as a whole. Everyone needs to do their duty and do it well from the chairman downwards,” he said.
De Jongh says the Zimbabwe Premier league has potential to become one of the top leagues in the continent but the major problem is the lack of discipline and organisation in the football structures.
“In Rwanda you have two teams chasing the title, other teams are not on a good level. In Kenya you have five competitive teams but only two or three of those are title contenders. The league in Kenya has improved.”
“In my opinion the Swaziland league is very poor. In Zimbabwe you have about eight teams that are all favourites to win the title at the start of the season. You have Highlanders, Dynamos, Caps United, FC Platinum, Ngezi, ZPC Kariba, Triangle and Chicken Inn all in the running to win the title. The league is not easy; those teams are playing for the title every season.”
“I will give you an example when the Zimbabwe national team went to Afcon there was chaotic organisation. Players must only focus on training and playing not administrative issues. It is not only Zimbabwe, we saw it with Cameroon and other African countries that’s where Africa gets it wrong,” he said.
Highlanders will take on TelOne in a league encounter at Barbourfileds Stadium this Sunday.