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SCOTTISH football coach Desmond Donaldson Bulpin, 63, has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Kelvin Kaindu as Highlanders coach. Bosso yesterday said they were still screening the 11 applications that they have received for the job.

Since Kaindu’s departure, the likes of Lloyd Mutasa, Elvis Chiweshe, Mkhuphali Masuku, a Danish gaffer and a Brazilian have been linked to the job.

Bulpin’s agent, Ndaba Nyathi, could not be reached for comment yesterday but impeccable sources in the United Kingdom said the coach and player manager are due in Bulawayo next week.

“The prospect of working at Highlanders FC excites him. He has clicked on Google and is impressed to learn about the club’s rich history that has seen international brands like Peter Ndlovu, Madinda Ndlovu, the late Adam Ndlovu, Willard Khumalo, Benjani Mwaruwari, Honour Gombami, Noel Kaseke, Zenzo Moyo, Joel Luphahla and Bruce Grobbelaar come from the club’s ranks.

“He is actually set to fly to Bulawayo next week and the club has skyped him several times to conclude the deal.

“He might request that he appoints one or two of his backroom staff, someone he has associated with and has a clue about Zimbabwe football dynamics,” said the source.

Highlanders chief executive, Ndumiso Gumede, was non-committal when contacted for comment.

“We have received seven applications from local, one South African, one Brazilian and two from Europe. Due processes are taking place,” he said. Bulpin, a much-travelled UEFA A licence holder, is assistant head coach at English Championship League side Millwall.

Born in Glasgow, he has coached the national team of the Philippines, Indian Arrows, India Under-23, Shillong Lajong and Millwall.

He also holds the UEFA Pro Licence qualification.

Bulpin did his preliminary badge in 1980 with English coach Roy Hodgson.

After that, he was invited by Bob Houghton to work with the schoolboys at Bristol City.

The prospective Bosso coach was then employed by Bobby Gould at Bristol Rovers as youth team coach, later as first team coach and reserve team manager.

He also worked under Gerry Francis, Ian Holloway, Andy Kilner and David Burnside.

Bulpin has been credited with identifying and developing players such as Peter Crouch, Daniel Dichio, Dougie Freedman, Kevin Gallen, Ledley King, Marcus Stewart and Steven Yates.

Source : The Herald