The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
FORMER Premiership side, Masvingo United are on a rejuvenation path, indicating their intention of returning to the Premiership by hiring a Cameroonian coach.
The Eastern Region Division One club is also taking on giants Highlanders in a friendly match today as they prepare for the forthcoming season. The team has within its ranks three Ghanaian players as they seek to make a return to the glory days.
Trustee, Joe Makuvire said they are hoping to restore the pride the Masvingo community used to have in the team.
He said they took over at the club in November last year and are already setting the club on a new path that would lead to the restoration of Masvingo’s stature when it was a force to reckon with in the Premiership.
“We have hired Cameroonian, Richard Capello as head of our technical department and we have faith he will assist us achieve our aims. We have signed two Ghanaian attacking midfielders, Richard Aeklu and Justice Amatey while we are still finalizing with another player from the same country.
Locally, we don’t have any big name players but we are satisfied those in our books can lead us to glory,” he said.
The match will be Highlanders’ last preparatory match as they head into the Premiership which kicks off on Saturday.
This will be Highlanders’ fifth pre-season match, having played to a 0-0 draw with new boys Nichrut, won 2-1 against Chicken Inn in a ZNA Charity Shield semi-final, lost 1-2 to Dynamos in the ZNA Charity Shield final and last weekend they beat Caps United 2-1 in the Vice-President Kembo Mohadi Charity Shield.
Head coach, Madinda Ndlovu will use today’s game to make the last fine tuning of the squad and ensure the players rectify any weakness they might have.
The majority of players that were in Ndlovu’s initial squad have been consistently selected for the friendly matches an indication of how the players will line up as the season starts. Ndlovu welcomed the release of the fixtures last week saying he is not worried who they face first or last.
“I think it doesn’t matter which team we start with because we are going to play all of them either way. I have absolutely no preference which team we start with, I am happy the fixtures are out and the games are about to begin,” he said.
Ndlovu has built a youthful team and chief executive officer, Nhlanhla Dube urged fans to exercise patience and play a role in the growth of the young players.
He said whistling and booing might negatively impact on a player who otherwise would have developed into a soccer star.
“The urge for immediate results is there but I think we have explained this is a long-term project hence fans should be patient with the youngsters. Yes, they will make mistakes along the way but they should give them room to correct them without putting them under pressure through booing them. We are going back to our philosophy of having a youthful squad largely made up of players promoted from our juniors. It will not be an overnight project but will take time,” he said.