By Ricky Zililo
Highlanders supporters have been presented with an opportunity to see their “new-look” side being assembled by Madinda Ndlovu at Luveve Stadium tomorrow when they play Premiership newboys Nichrut.
Charges for the first pre-season match for both sides have been pegged at $2 for the rest of the ground and $5 for VIP.
Bosso, who are in their fifth week of pre-season preparations said they have been working on combinations and formations as well as game related situations. Ndlovu feels his boys are ready to face opposition as they continue with their preparations for the league which kicks off on March 10.
“We’re ready to play friendly matches to assess our strength. It is only after playing these friendly matches that we can tell whether or not we’re ready to compete in the league.
You can only measure your strengths when you play against opponents as opposed to playing against yourselves,” said Ndlovu.
The Bosso coach said he is happy with the players’s response to his training programme and has asked for the club’s followers to be patient with his young brigade.
“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. What we need to find out is whether or not we are giving them the correct ingredients so that they give us what we need. These youngsters are at a different level and the challenge is therefore big,” said Ndlovu.
While rebuilding, Highlanders retained a bulk of their players who will guide the youngsters and new players introduced into the squad.
Goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, defenders Peter Muduhwa, Honest Moyo and Tendai Ndlovu, midfield trio of Brian Banda, Adrian Silla and Godfrey Makaruse as well as forward Gabriel Nyoni are the seasoned players in Ndlovu’s squad.
Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube called on supporters to in their numbers and rally behind the new squad.
“We play on Sunday. The coach has said the work of re-energising, reforming, restructuring the team has moved to a level where we’re responding to the request of the technical team which is to play friendly matches. They want to play friendly games so that they start looking at the formations and so on.
“This Sunday we play new entrants to the league Nichrut, the Central Region champions. That’s where you will probably see what the team is trying to look like and what they’re trying to do. After Nichrut, the team will start preparing for the first competitive game of the season which is a pre-season ZNA Charities Shield semi-finals against Chicken Inn set for February 18,” Dube said.
The winner between the Highlanders-Chicken Inn match will face either Dynamos or Caps United in the final.
Meanwhile, Nichrut coach John Nyikadzino said he is looking forward to tomorrow’s game.
“This is our first friendly match and we want to gauge our state of preparedness. We are preparing in a manner that will ensure that we survive relegation and we hope the match against Highlanders will give us pointers as to which areas we have to improve on before the season starts. It is also a friendly match where we are going to give players we’ve signed some game time to see if they are adapting to our style of play,” said Nyikadzino. The Chronicle