Sports / Soccer
Akbay looking for one more striker
28 Feb 2017 at 06:10hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS will conclude their squad reinforcement by signing one more striker, with coach Erol Akbay saying their potency in front of goal would be key to the title chase.
Eccentric striker Rodrick Mutuma (28) crossed the great divide to join Bosso from archrivals Dynamos on a one-year deal as part of Akbay's plans to strengthen his attack.
The Dutchman told Chronicle Sport yesterday that he would conclude his signings with a striker and praised the executive for getting him his desired players.
"The executive has made my job easy by getting me players that I want. We're almost done with the 2017 squad and what we need now is just a striker to complete our team. There are a few strikers that I'm still looking at. I need someone who will understand our high tempo game and also give us another dimension when attacking," said Akbay.
Among strikers trying their luck at Bosso is Equatorial Guinea forward Manuel Esono Obiang Buale (23), who started training with the team on Tuesday last week.
According to Akbay, Buale "is a very good player who is strong but not fast" and it appears the striker has charmed the Highlanders' coach.
"The striker from Equatorial Guinea is a very good player, strong but not fast. Sometimes you need a striker who is not necessarily fast, but can use his strength to score or create. We haven't made up our minds about the striker or any that are still training with us as we need more time to look at them before coming up with a decision," Akbay said.
Kalunga turned out for relegated Beitbridge-based Premiership side Border Strikers last season, while Tshuma (19) was at Mabvuku All Stars Academy in Mutare.
Should Highlanders manage to get another striker, Akbay will have a bigger pool to select his preferred forwards.
Other strikers in Highlanders' books are the 2016 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League's Rookie of the Year Prince Dube, veteran Ralph Matema, Gabriel Nyoni, Nhlanhla Ndlovu and Ray Lunga who was promoted from the club's development side Bosso 90 that competes in the Southern Region Division One League.
On whether signing another striker would aid Highlanders' cause to winning the league title, Akbay said: "Winning the championship is not about individuals, but about having the best team. Last year we were not the best team, but we are working on improving that. If we get strikers that can score goals week in, week out, then we can talk about the championship."
Bosso finished the 2016 season as the second highest scoring team with 41 goals, one behind league champions Caps United.
Maybe the area Akbay and his technical team should give extra attention to is in defence, which finished joint fifth best in the league.
2016 league runners-up FC Platinum had the best defence, conceding 15 goals, followed by 2015 champions Chicken Inn, who let in 20 goals, while Caps United and ZPC Kariba's backlines were breached 21 times. Highlanders and Dynamos each conceded 24 goals.
Source - chronicle