Silver Strikers set targets for new coach
There is no honeymoon for Silver Strikers’ newly appointed coach Pieter De Jong as the club has given the Dutchman two targets in his maiden season at the Area 47 Super League outfit.
The former Zimbabwean giants Highlanders FC mentor penned a two-year deal after arriving in the country on Sunday through Kamuzu International Airport.
Silver Strikers Board Secretary Peter Masiye said they would not wait for the Netherlands-born coach to acclimatise but ask him to wrestle the league title from Champions Nyasa Big Bullets in the forthcoming season.
“We will give the coach every support he needs and we chose him based on his track record and vast experience in African football. We want him to win the league and, at least, one cup this season.
“We struggled a lot last season and we cannot afford another fruitless season; we want to win,” Masiye said.
However, De Jong said he would respond next week after assessing the team.
“I have just started training this week. By Wednesday next week, I will have a picture of what team I have. I can’t say anything now; let’s talk next week,” Pieter said.
Meanwhile, National Football Coaches Association Chairperson Aubrey Nankhuni, while applauding the Bankers for hiring an expatriate coach, has faulted them for setting the targets for the coach in his maiden season.
“I would have loved it if Silver gave the coach time to lay a foundation at the club. Winning the league in his first season will not be an easy task,” he said.
Flames legend Peterkins Kayira said giving targets to De Jong is unfair because the coach did not recruit his own players but found the team already in place.
“This man is only a few days old in this country and he has not signed any player. It is the club which signed the new players and released some. How do they give such a coach targets? I find this to be very unfair,” he said.
Last season, Silver were booted out of the Airtel Top 8 and FDH Bank Cup and also failed to clinch a top-four spot in the TNM Super League.
They fired Zambian coach Daniel Kabwe and replaced him with Leo Mpulula and Etison Kadenge Mwafulirwa.
Mpulula has been redeployed to the scouting department of the team while Kadenge and Peter Mgangira have been named first and second assistant coach, respectively.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.