'City must play tiki taka'

HARARE - Harare City’s new technical director Mark Harrison said there is need to put more emphasis in grassroots development if local football is to reach greater heights.

The Sunshine Boys appointed the Briton into the new role last month and Harrison has already started the groundwork to put in place proper junior structures.

“I think there is massive talent here and the country has produced some top quality players,” the former CAPS United coach said.

“The raw talent is massive. I went to the Copa Coca-Cola championships a few weeks ago and saw a lot of individual talent there.

“My negative thought is that I think the coaches at grassroots are not there. I look at the Zimbabwean PSL and the SA PSL. We are raw, our football is like hit and rush and it’s not supposed to be like that because the talent is here.”

The 56-year-old singled out FC Platinum as the best club in the top flight league which plays a good attacking and passing game.

“I look at FC Platinum and for me I have quite a few teams in the local league that play good football,” he said.

“I think they are the best team in the league without a shadow of doubt. Norman (Mapeza) has made them play some quality football; they play some good entertaining football.

“I think supporters and players need to be educated. If you are playing a good brand of football you get people coming through to watch the game.

“When I left CAPS United you could hear a lot of people saying you have turned us into a tiki taka team and I take that as a compliment because a lot of great teams play that kind of football.

“Harare City needs to be playing carpet football. We need to entertain fans and let players express themselves in the right manner.”

The English-born gaffer, has in the past developed a reputation of being nomadic after moving from one club after the other.

In the previous six years he has been in South Africa, where he coached Mpumalanga Black Aces, African Warriors, Chippa United, Bay Stars and Golden Arrows before coming to Zimbabwe to coach CAPS United.

After that he went to Botswana where he led Township Rollers to the title in 2015.

This time around, Harrison wants to stay at City and see his new project bear fruits.

“I get tired of people asking me this question to be honest. People ask me the question but they never really want to know the answer to the question,” he said.

“They just like to throw it out there. But there is a reason why I left every club.

“But I would say 80 percent of the reason why I left clubs in the past is because they don’t fit the vision. It’s not the vision they sell me when they interview me.

“When you get into the job, then you find they don’t want to do what they said they want to do. There is interference from the management, they want to select the team, they want to train, they want to tell you what to do and when to do it but I won’t do that.

“I have been a player and coach and been in the game for 40 years, I don’t need a guy who is a businessman from outside to come and tell me my football because I wouldn’t go to his business to tell him how to run his business. There is need to respect each other and I believe in my morals.”

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