By Ricky Zililo
Highlanders coach Madinda Ndlovu is hunting for an experienced striker to lead the frontline of an almost completely brand new squad for the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season.
Ndlovu has been given the green light by his employers to recommend the name of a striker to lead the line and handhold the relatively young Bosso squad.
The coach, who is in his fifth week of pre-season preparations, was appointed to lead Highlanders back to their old way of promoting players from the juniors instead of going to the market.
The fresh start Bosso are embarking on is, among other things, aimed at cutting costs involving the purchasing of players. They also hope this new approach will return the club to glory days.
Ndlovu is satisfied with the goalkeeping, defence and midfield departments.
“From the analysis we’ve done, we made it clear to our bosses that we think we have a grey area that we have to work on. Funds permitting, it will be advisable for us to deal with that area before the window closes. If funds don’t permit, then we’ll have to look at the boys that are in camp until the next window period,” said Ndlovu.
“I think the team now only needs a seasoned striker, a hitman, someone who can bang in goals. That is where my worry is at the moment, otherwise in all other areas I’m happy,” Ndlovu said.
Highlanders let go old horses, who include forward Ralph Matema, Nhlanhla Ndlovu, who has since joined Bulawayo City, and their 2017 flop Congolese Kalunga Tambwe. At the moment, they have Gabriel Nyoni, who is more of a winger than a central striker, as well as the pint-sized Ray Lunga in their frontline.
Bosso are also hoping to capture the signature of ex-Tsholotsho FC utility player MacClive Phiri, who made cameo appearances for Ngezi Platinum Stars last season.
Phiri is among three players that were invited for trials by Ndlovu alongside holding midfielder Munyaradzi Chitambwe and unheralded Aces Youth Academy and former FC Platinum attacking midfielder Nigel Mukombe.
Ndlovu yesterday said he had signed some of the players he invited for trials, but declined to reveal their names.
The Bosso coach was happy with how his players were responding to his training programme.
“The boys are responding well to the training methods. What remains is to see if they can stand the heat. We’re at a stage where we are organising friendly training games. All these youngsters are talented. The only thing we have to look at is if we are really giving them the correct ingredients so that they give us what we need. The answer to that is we have to give them a bit of some time. These youngsters are at a different level altogether, the challenges are going to be big for them.
“I believe that with the talent we have, only time that will tell what they can achieve. I think the boys will stand the pressure and work for each other. We are advocating for players to fight as a team, not as individuals,” said Ndlovu. The Chronicle