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Madinda takes on soldiers

by Staff reporter
18 Mar 2018 at 08:41hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS will be hoping to give their fans a perfect start to 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season when they take on Black Rhinos this afternoon in their opening fixture at Barbourfields Stadium.

Technical manager Madinda Ndlovu believes a good performance is in the offing as their aim is to play entertaining football.

Ndlovu was roped in at the beginning of the year and has come up with an almost new team with youngsters making up the bulk of the squad in what the gaffer has termed a "long term project".

"I think what is important is how we are going to open our season. In that regard our main aim is to give our supporters the best performance (on Sunday) and seal it up with a win. I don't know who plays for Rhinos. I haven't seen them play this year. I last saw them 10 years ago so I don't know whether they are physical or ball players," he said.

Ndlovu said they would be adopting a formation or strategy that will bring Highlanders results and make them a force to reckon with. He said they will take the game to Rhinos and go into their game with their own tactics instead of seeking to counter Rhinos.

"This is a marathon and we will pick some points and lose some but preparation is key because if you prepare well you are likely to emerge tops. We are competing so we have to be on our toes throughout the marathon," said Ndlovu.

Ndlovu said they are looking at the long run and will be introducing youngsters as they go, adding they are focusing more on putting structures in place to ensure young players make it into the first team.

"It is not about the first team but more about development as we want to create a feeder for the first team with lots of youngsters coming through. You will see a lot of youngsters featuring in the first team, if not in the starting line-up then they would be part of the 18 players selected for duty on that day," he said.

Highlanders had a busy pre-season as they took part in the ZNA Charity Shield tourney in which they booted out Chicken Inn in the semi-finals and then lost to Dynamos in the final. Bosso also beat Caps United in the KCD Mohadi Shield and also played new boys, Nichrut and former Premiership side, Masvingo United.

Ndlovu said the pre-season action enabled them to make a seamless shift into the league competition although the difference now will be that there is something to play for and little room for experimentation and error, although the mid-season window will give them the chance to make any necessary changes.

Rhinos are also getting into the 2018 season with a new coach, Herbert Maruwa after parting ways with Stanford "Stix" Mutizwa who led the Zimbabwe National Army team back into the Premiership and although had a blistering first half of the 2017 season, his charges faltered in the home stretch leading to his dismissal.

Chauya Chipembere, as Rhinos are affectionately known, embarked on their own rebuilding exercise and have within their ranks two former Bosso players, Allen Gahadzikwa and Masimba Mambare. Mambare has been Bosso's tormentor since he left the Bulawayo giants in 2014 to join bitter rivals Dynamos and he played a central role in most defeats that DeMbare handed to Amahlolanyama when he played, either scoring or providing assists.

Bosso will be missing the services of centre back, Charlton Siamalonga and striker, Thabo Lunga, who both received knocks.

Lunga failed a late fitness test on Friday ruling him out of the season opener while Siamalonga is out for two weeks and his position is likely to be taken up by steely defender, Tendai Ndlovu.

In other matches to be played today, Shabanie Mine will host Triangle United at Mandava while at the National Sports Stadium in Harare Caps United take on Harare City who made a last minute return to the Premiership following the Bulawayo Mining Company's decision to relinquish the How Mine franchise.


Today: Highlanders v Black Rhinos (Barbourfields), Shabanie Mine v Triangle United (Mandava), Caps United v Harare City (National Sports Stadium).

Source - sundaynews
More on: #Madinda, #Rhinos, #Bosso