By Dumisani Nsingo
Highlanders’ new signing Tafadzwa Sibanda did not take time to prove to all and sundry that he is a gem when he was introduced as a second half substitute in a stalemate with Nichrut at Ascot Stadium in Gweru on Saturday.
The lanky forward acquired from Zifa Central Region League side TelOne came in as a second half substitute, replacing a struggling Godfrey Makaruse in the 50th minute and in those few minutes, he managed to impress hordes of Bosso’s faithfuls with his superb ball control and off the ball movement.
With a bit of luck, he could have scored on his debut when he timed a cross from the right by winger Gabriel Nyoni to perfection but his well calculated diving header was saved by a well positioned Nichrut goalkepper Stanley Chakwana.
Sibanda’s former coach and former Bosso and Warriors winger Joel “Dubai” Luphahla, who was part of the crowd that watched the match, was impressed by the performance of the striker and was quick to say more was coming from him.
“That’s the quality of a footballer we are talking about and wherever I have gone, I have always recommended good players to bigger clubs.
“He is a very good player. It’s unfortunate that he was introduced in the second half when the complexion of the game had changed. There was no longer a clean supply of balls up front but he almost scored,” said Luphahla.
He said he was optimistic that Sibanda would not take time to find his feet at Bosso.
“He will definitely give the Bosso fans a smile, believe me. I expect him to flourish more if he is played alongside a player of Nigel (Makumbe)’s qualities and my wish is for him to be given more game time on Thursday and definitely he will show his qualities and abilities. He is good both in the air and on the ground,” said Luphahla.
One of Sibanda’s former teammates at TelOne was heard soon after the match saying “rapinda dhara”, which literally means he has fitted in well.
Highlanders’ chairman Kenneth Mhlophe, who travelled to watch the match, was also impressed with the forward’s performance and hinted that he might be the side’s find of the season.
“Tafadzwa exhibited some quality in his play, which is very rare for a player coming from a lower Division to do at this level of the game.
“I can safely say we have found a gem of a player and we are looking forward to him playing a part in bringing the glory days back to Bosso. I am therefore urging our supporters to come in numbers and watch this gem of a player in action against Chicken Inn on Thursday,” said Mhlophe.
Another debutant Tinashe Makanda, who was thrust into the starting line-up, did not last on the field of play as he was taken out injured in the 21st minute. The Chronicle