Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE incoming Highlanders coach has been in charge of an incredible 22 football clubs in a career spanning 29 years and is from the Netherlands, contrary to previous reports that he is a British national.
A highly placed source within the Bulawayo giants said contrary to the story that they had hired a Briton, they have instead settled for the Dutch national.
“It’s not true that the club will be having someone from Britain and in particular Donaldson Buplin as you guys had insinuated. It’s, in fact, one Pieter de Jongh from Netherlands,” said the source.
Hendrik Pieter de Jongh (48), started his coaching career in 1990 as a 20-year-old rookie following a career-ending injury.
He has also had stints in Kenya, South Africa, Rwanda, Swaziland as well as Caf headquarters, according to his curriculum vitae that Chronicle Sport is in possession of.
Highlanders’ chairman, Kenneth Mhlophe, confirmed this week that they had identified a coach to take the team through the rest of the season as they seek to stem a disastrous season that has seen them failing to move away from the relegation zone.
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 he 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 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.
He took up a job with Supersport as a pundit in African football, based in Kenya from January 2018 to the end of the year.
From June 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 he was Caf technical advisor (youth development) based in Cairo, Egypt.
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 finals.