Former Warriors coach Clemens Westerhof is considering opportunities in Zimbabwe where he has been linked with newly-promoted Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, side TelOne.
By Kevin Mapasure
TelOne got promoted from the Central Division One League with former Warriors forward Joel Lupahla plotting their ascendancy.
BBC carried an interview with the 78-year-old Dutch national, Westerhof, who revealed that he was looking forward to two opportunities in Zimbabwe.
“I am currently thinking about combining a job in Zimbabwe as a coach at a telecom club in Gweru, together with an advisory role at a football academy, the Peter Mubi Academy,” Westerhof said.
“They want me to improve the academy, build it from the ground up. I hope I can achieve there what I’ve done in Nigeria in the past and improve the level of football in Zimbabwe in general.”
Westerhof is keen to collaborate with Dutch football clubs to make the academy in Zimbabwe a big success.
“Ajax already has it with Ajax Cape Town and I am thinking about a partnership with either Vitesse, PSV or Feyenoord. I want to go to PSV and ask head coach Mark van Bommel and his advisor Bert van Marwijk to work with us.”
TelOne president Lloyd Mtetwa yesterday, however, denied that his club were pursuing Westerhof’s signature.
“We do not know where that is coming from. I have just seen it on the Internet just like you have, but we have not been in contact with him and have no such plans. I actually last heard about him a long time ago,” Mtetwa said.
Lupahla, who guided the team into topflight, does not possess the mandatory Confederation of African Football A coaching licence that qualifies him to keep his post in the Premier Soccer League.
Late last year, Westerhof was in Zimbabwe on a private visit.
Despite his advanced age, Westerhof said he still had a lot to offer and could still work as a coach.
“I will not go in front with football shoes on and kick balls left and right — no, no, no. But I will tell them how to do it. And I will choose those coaches to work with me, who must have the same idea as I have; the same feeling and passion for it that you will see.”
Although Westerhof has a long and impressive career behind him, he still has dreams and ambitions to improve African football.
“I’m still young. In my body and soul, I’m still young. But I know, at this moment, I must do everything one step slower,” Westerhof told BBC Sport.
Westerhof served as technical director of the Agatha Sheneti Youth Academy which was based in Harare. The Dutch mentor also had a stint at Harare United, which was linked to the academy. In 2001, he was technical director at Dynamos, but only for a couple of months.