The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube/ Mehluli Sibanda
HIGHLANDERS are set to make another addition to their squad with midfielder, Nqobizitha Masuku in line to make a return after a fruitless expedition at Zambia’s Buildcon.
Bosso’s technical manager, Madinda Ndlovu heaped praise on Masuku, who has been training with the club since his return from Zambia last month, saying he is a very good player and they are ready to snap him up.
Ndlovu said the player would be a good addition to the squad, particularly in the central midfield position where he plays.
“I would say we are 96 percent close to coming to an agreement with him (Masuku) as you know he is already training with us and as the technical department we are happy with what we have seen. Barring any contractual differences, I am sure he would be part of us next year. He is a good player and we believe he can play a role in our project going forward,” he said.
Masuku (25) together with Devon Chafa and Patson Jaure asked to leave the wealthy Zambian Premiership side last month due to frustration over lack of game time after joining the club at the beginning of the year.
The former FC Platinum midfielder is set to provide additional arsenal to Bosso as Ndlovu boosts his project that began at the start of this season and refocused towards recruiting younger players within the traditional Highlanders source base, mainly its juniors with a few other players coming from outside.
Masuku will be the third signing that Bosso has made in preparation for next year. Bosso have already snapped up former Bantu Rovers midfielder, Bukhosi “Zaku” Sibanda on a year-long contract and striker, Prince Dube, who is making a return after struggling to settle at SuperSport and signed a two-year contract.
Ndlovu revealed he was finalising his squad for next season and the axe could fall on several players adding he intends giving all the players a chance to prove their worth as he consolidates his side to perform better next year.
Meanwhile, the Bulawayo giants will look to put behind the humiliation they suffered at the hands of Chapungu when they face Harare City in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Barbourfields Stadium this afternoon.
Bosso were humbled 4-0 by Chapungu in their last league encounter, a result which dented their chance of finishing in the top four.
With three matches left before the end of the end of the season, Highlanders are seventh with 44 points, seven away from Triangle in fourth spot.
It has not been rosy Highlanders in the second half of the season where they have only managed four wins, with their last victory having come on 26 September when they overcame Yadah 2-1 at Barbourfields.
Since then, Madinda Ndlovu’s men have only collected two points out of a possible 12 with two draws and the same number of defeats.
The defeat against Chapungu was the worst for this season and they would want to quickly recover from that with a win against Harare City.
Mark Harrison’s lads are certainly full of confidence having beaten Highlanders 2-1 in the Chibuku Super Cup where they are now in the final against Triangle.
What should be comforting for the Highlanders fans is the fact that they last gave away three points to Harare City way back in 2015 with Bosso having beaten the Sunshine Boys 2-1 in the first meeting between the two teams this season in Harare in June.
“There is no poor performance for the performance against Chapungu and I was clear, I was the first one to apologise to our supporters that I don’t want to repeat the same kind of situation where I sit on the bench and watch the team lose. Those measures have been done, whoever doesn’t play this weekend it means that they are in that category, you will see what I do about that,’’ Ndlovu said.
Highlanders have been boosted by the return of two defenders, Tendai Ndlovu and Mbongeni Ndlovu who did not play against Chapungu.
The duo should combine well with Peter Muduhwa and MacClive Phiri to give cover for Ariel Sibanda who is certain to be restored into the starting line-up.
Adrian Silla, Nigel Makumbe, Brian Banda, Denzel Khumalo, Gabriel Nyoni and Godfrey Makaruse have a key role to play in Bosso’s midfield.
The return of Tinashe Makanda has given Highlanders more options upfront with Tafadzwa Sibanda and Newman Sianchali the other goal scoring alternatives.
With Harare City preparing for the Chibuku Super Cup final, Harrison might want to rest some of his key players and field those on the fringes.
At the same time, a win for Highlanders will see them overtake Harare City, which means Harrison has to balance his focus on the Chibuku Super Cup final and preserving their fifth spot on the table.
Meanwhile, defending champions FC Platinum need just a point against neigbhours Shabanie Mine to successfully defend the title they won last year.
A draw against Shabanie Mine at Maglas Stadium will be good enough to see FC Platinum crowned champions for the second time.
FC Platinum coach, Norman Mapeza said they will approach today’s encounter like they have done with all the other matches they have played this season with their wish being to get an encouraging outcome.
“It’s like any game we have been playing during the course of the season. We will approach the game with the same mentality, attitude and desire to get a positive result. We have to push really hard to get a positive result,’’ Mapeza said.
He attributed their success to determination, dedication, and perseverance as well as unity of purpose amongst the team, fans and the executive.