Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BRITON Mark Harrison is reportedly in negotiations with Highlanders to take up the vacant head coach post, a source close to the gaffer told Chronicle Sport yesterday.
According to the source, Harrison is “90 percent” likely to return to Zimbabwe, six months after quitting Harare City to take charge of Highlanders, a side he “adored because of its following” during his two coaching stints in the country.
Harrison had a four-month stint as head coach of Caps United in 2015 before moving to Botswana’s Township Rollers where he spent two seasons, finishing second in the 2015/16 season and winning the title the following season. He moved to Harare City at the beginning of 2018 and stayed for one and a half years.
“Harrison has been in talks with Highlanders and he really sounds interested in the job. He feels he has recharged and is ready to return to the dugout. There are a couple of things that the two parties are ironing out, but he (Harrison) adores Highlanders because of its followers, structure and history. At this point, I can say chances that he will sign are 90 percent,” said the source.
The Highlanders’ coaching job fell vacant when Hendrik Pieter de Jongh officially notified Bosso last week that he will not renew his contract when it expires tomorrow despite being offered an improved deal.
Highlanders are also said to be keen to add Bulawayo Chiefs coach Thulani Sibanda to their technical staff.
In his Christmas message to Bosso supporters, club chairman Kenneth Mhlophe said everything is “under control” and they are not panicking.
Asked about Harrison, Highlanders spokesperson Ronald Moyo said: “The club management is working around the clock to ensure that the pre-season season kicks off timeously and perfectly. A statement regarding the structure of the technical team and other team news will be issued when the time is right.”
Harrison holds a Uefa A licence badge and previously coached Oxford United, Stafford Rangers and Everton in the United Kingdom as well as Mpumalanga Black Aces and African Warriors before his spell with Chippa United in South Africa.
He began his career in 1977 playing for Southampton in England as a trainee. After three years he moved to Port Vale where he immediately became the first-choice goalkeeper for the “Valiants”.
He had a brief loan period at Stoke City and thereafter returned to Vale Park where he enjoyed a 46-game stint for the team before being sold to Stoke City where he stayed for a brief period.
He then moved to South Africa and played for Hellenic.
Harrison went straight into football coaching after retiring. — @ZililoR