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Bosso ready to believe again

by Staff reporter
30 Apr 2023 at 03:56hrs | Views
RED-HOT Manchester City striker Erling Haaland was only five years old when Highlanders last won the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title.

That was in 2006, when Methembe "Mayor" Ndlovu led Bosso to their sixth PSL championship.

Since then, Highlanders' best finish was second in 2012 and 2013.

But there is something special happening at Bosso this season that has left their multitude of fans believing once again.

Brazilian coach Baltemar Brito will clock exactly 11 months in charge of Highlanders on Wednesday, and the 71-year-old tactician has bowled over Bosso fans with his style of play, as well as results.

Highlanders are yet to taste defeat in the 2023 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League campaign.

They have 11 points from five matches and go into today's match against Hwange at Barbourfields Stadium a point behind CAPS United, who sit at the apex of the log.

Yet last season, Bosso had a paltry four points from their opening five fixtures.

Backed by their vociferous fans, Highlanders have been posting memorable results and performances.

They broke a nine-year jinx on April 2, when they beat FC Platinum for the first in the league since 2014.

The Bulawayo giants had also sent another bad record tumbling the previous week, when they beat Black Rhinos 1-0 at the National Sports Stadium - their first away victory against the army side in six years.

Their coach Brito is smelling blood.

He has openly stated his desire to win the Premier Soccer League title this season.

And fans are optimistic once again, after a remarkable start to the 2023 season.  They also have reason to believe their team can finally do what it has failed to achieve in the last 17 years.

"I think this is the right time to make this season one to remember," Brito told the media in Bulawayo last week.

Bosso have also been breaking records in the stands.

They are by far the most supported team in the Premier Soccer League, if figures from the turnstiles are anything to go by.

The club has been running a campaign, through their social media pages, to drum up support for the game against Hwange this afternoon.

The #fillupBF campaign was in full swing last week, with more Bosso fans promising to throng Barbourfields this afternoon.

Some of their top fans, like Johannesburg-based Alfred Ndlovu, have promised to be at Emagumeni "in spirit".

"My spirit and heart will be at Emagumeni, although my body will be in Joburg CBD (central business district)! How I miss (the) Soweto Stand and Mpakwen. Wow! Wonderful, exciting atmosphere," Ndlovu posted on Facebook, in reaction to a post on Highlanders' official page.

For some, like popular fan Mpumelelo "Fah Mbesuma" Nkomazana, Highlanders' matches at Barbourfields have become a part of life.

"There have been some positives to draw from the team so far and this is making us believe Bosso can do something this season," he said.

And Brito acknowledges the impact of fans, especially at home.

"We are trying to do our best with every game, and with the help of the supporters, it becomes easier," says Brito.

Highlanders have three wins - against Black Rhinos, FC Platinum and Yadah - plus two draws against ZPC Kariba and Chicken Inn.

They have an almost clean bill of health, with left-back Archford Faira the only player ruled out of the match against Hwange.

Faira's absence could open the door for Godfrey "Godera" Makaruse.

Ray "Ndori Ndori" Lunga was set to pass a late fitness test in the lead-up to this afternoon's clash against Hwange.

Calvin "Kung Fu Panda" Chingonero, who rose from the bench to score a brace in his debut in last weekend's 2-0 win against Yadah, is fully fit and available for selection.

The last time Highlanders played Hwange in the league was back in September 2019, when the two sides settled for a 0-0 draw at the Colliery.

Hwange were relegated at the end of that season. But Chipangano have worked their way back into the elite league.

They, too, have had a promising start to the 2023 season, after amassing 10 points from six matches.

It is the best performance among the promoted teams, which include Simba Bhora, Sheasham and Green Fuel.

Hwange forward Brighton Makopa is the league's joint top scorer with four goals.

He is the man to watch from Chipangano, although there were reports on Friday that he had suffered an injury.

Bosso coach Brito dismissed those reports as part of Hwange's mind games.

Source - The Sunday Mail