Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
BULAWAYO giants Highlanders are hopeful of securing a work permit for their British coach Mark Harrison in time for the start of the 2020 pre-season preparations on January 16.
The 59 -year -old Briton took over the dressing room duties at Highlanders after he agreed a two- year deal, replacing Dutchman Hendriek Pieter de Jongh who joined champions FC Platinum after the expiry of his four month contract with Bosso.
“We are running around trying to secure the coach’s papers which we hope will be in order by the time we begin our pre-season preparations on January 16. We are hopeful that all will go smoothly with the relevant authorities in that regard,” said Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe.
The Briton, who is not new to Zimbabwean football having previously been with Caps United and Harare City, will work with assistants Mandla Lulu Mpofu and Bekithemba Super Ndlovu, quashing previous claims that Bulawayo Chiefs coach Thulani Sibanda has been roped in.
“Considering our philosophy as a club and his style of football, he emerged the best candidate to take up the huge responsibility. He will work with the existing club technical structures and general staff, which includes juniors, developmental team and first team coaches,” Mhlophe said in his statement on the day the club confirmed Harrison’s appointment.
Harrison becomes the third British coach to take charge of Highlanders after Bobby Clark and the late Eddie May, who both had successful stints with the Bulawayo giants.
He comes at a time when the Bulawayo giants have declared their intention to lift the Premier Soccer League Cup they last won in 2006 with Methembe Ndlovu as head coach.
For a brand as big as Highlanders, going for 13 years without a league title is a huge slap in the institution’s reputation but usually when such teams find their strides, they usually become unstoppable like what Liverpool is doing in the English Premier League.