By Fungai Muderere
New Highlanders chairman Kenneth Mhlophe (61) said his maturity and being a team player will come in handy to the Bosso cause, as the club seeks to bring back “the real glory days”. Mhlophe said he was ripe and ready to occupy the top post at Highlanders.
“I’m a team player, but I’m not a ‘yes’ man. I will bring my vast business experience and acumen in administration and management. I worked in the army for over 28 years and that is where I learnt management skills. I believe in unity, which I think is lacking at Highlanders. I have the right age and maturity and I think I will be able to unite the Bosso family because without unity, the club is doomed,” said Mhlophe.
Mhlophe has been Bosso’s benefactor for years. He strongly believes the emotional attachment he has with the team will help him work for the club’s best interests.
“We need everyone’s support in decision making. I am a decision maker myself and I have helped Highlanders on numerous occasions, but my contributions are not for the gallery,” he said.
The Bulawayo giants were operating with a skeletal executive following the suspension of then chairman Peter Dube by Zifa in 2016 and vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya has been the club’s acting chairman.
Mhlophe sees the recent appointment of Madinda Ndlovu as Highlanders’ head coach as a positive step by the club and is fully behind his return to Bosso.
He said the club needs a coach with a proven track record, talent identification and assembling winning squads.
“In Madinda, the club made a very wise decision to re-engage him as the first team’s head coach. We need a coach who has an eye for raw talent and help develop players within our own ranks to avoid situations where we have to spend money we don’t have to acquire players that may not even measure up to our expectations,” Mhlophe said.
He said despite having able players in the development structures at the club, most coaches didn’t have the nerve to play them.
“This club has always produced talented young players, but in recent years, our coaches have either lacked the eye to see this talent or are were unwilling to take a chance with young players, meaning we had to spend money to buy players and then pay hefty salaries because these guys come to us as established and experienced acquisitions,” he said.
Mhlophe also pointed out that had Ndlovu been given time during his previous two stints with Highlanders, he could easily have been able to deliver the Premiership crown.
“Everyone knows that Madinda put together two excellent squads at Highlanders that went on to win titles with other coaches because the club never gave him a chance. I strongly believe that if he gets enough time, he can bring us the title.”
The retired army colonel said he identifies with Ndlovu’s football philosophy premised on development.
“Madinda and I share a similar passion for development. For me he is the ideal coach to work with. I also feel that the club needs to stop taking advantage of him, as has been the case previously by employing him to build a team then fire him only for his successors to come and reap the benefits of his vision.” The Chronicle