The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Reporter
HIGHLANDERS will this year hold an awards ceremony as part of honouring their players’ strong finish to the season.
Club chairperson Kenneth Mhlophe told Sunday News Sports that the impressive performances and positive results posted by the team towards the end of the season has prompted the executive and the board to consider honouring the boys for their spirited efforts that saw them lifting the team to a respectable position on the log after what appeared to be a nightmarish season.
“We are going to hold an awards ceremony to honour our players for a breath-taking end to the season. The boys showed their fighting spirit as well as their commitment to the club against all odds. We are left with no option but to celebrate this feat by awarding the most excelling players though of course at the end it was teamwork that prevailed,” he said.
Bosso last held a players’ award ceremony in 2016 when the team was celebrating its 90th anniversary and goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, the club’s long serving son was voted the Player of the year. Prior to that it had last honoured its players in 2012 with Masimba Mambare scooping the top gong.
“We are still working on the tentative date for the awards but it will be before the start of the festive season,” said Mhlophe.
The country’s reigning second runner up Soccer Star of the year Prince Dube is expected to lead the race for the player of the year but faces strong competition from the league’s top goalkeeper Sibanda, Nqobizitha Masuku, Peter Mudhuhwa and Ray Lunga.
Andrew Mbeba the country’s Rookie of the year is expected to battle it out for the club’s promising player with Divine Mhirindiri while the most disciplined player might pity the team’s two veteran players, skipper Sibanda and Tendai Ndlovu. Mudhuhwa and Masuku might find themselves again vying for the most consistent player of the year.
Bosso has been in breathtaking form since the arrival of its Dutch coach, Hendrik Pieter de Jongh with many attributing its resurgence to the expatriate mentor.
De Jongh has gone for 13 matches unbeaten since taking over as head of the technical team from Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu, who had been in charge on interim basis after the departure of Madinda Ndlovu.
The Dutchman’s first match on the bench was against bitter rivals Dynamos in a Chibuku Super Cup match at Rufaro Stadium, which Bosso won 1-0.
To cap a fine end to the season Bosso managed to lift the Chibuku Super Cup, the country’s prestigious knock-out tournament after accounting for Ngezi 1-0 through a wonder strike by the soccer star’s second runner up Prince Dube.
The team is currently on fifth position on 45 points on the log but can finish in the top four if it manages to win its remaining two matches against Bulawayo Chiefs at Barbourfields and Chapungu away if fourth-placed ZPC Kariba on 46 points falter in any of their remaining matches. The sixth-placed team is Ngezi Platinum also on 45 points the same as Bosso, but with an inferior goal difference also stands a chance of finishing in the top four in the event the two teams above them post undesirable results.