Striker woes for Bosso

HARARE - Highlanders are facing a striker crisis ahead of their 2015 Castle Premiership season opening match against ZPC Kariba at Gwanzura Stadium on Saturday.

Bosso are already without teenage goal-machine Thomas Chideu, who is on national duty with the Under-23 side for Sunday’s All-Africa Games qualifier against Cameroon.

Another forward Knox Mutizwa is recuperating in hospital after sustaining first degree burns in a domestic mishap.  

Highlanders coach Bongani Mafu is now sweating on the fitness of forwards Simba Sithole, Ozias Zibande, King Nadolo and Godknows Makaruse.

The coach however, said he is not pressing the panic button yet and is confident their large pool of players will cover the absentees.

“All these players are out with injuries, for strikers we are only left with Obadiah Tarumbwa, but I’m not worried because we registered 30 players so we have enough replacements,” Mafu told the Daily News yesterday.

Mafu, who was appointed late last year to replace interim coach Mark Mathe, is confident that his side will register a positive result against ZPC.

The Bulawayo giants failed to beat ZPC last season with the Kariba side taking four points off Highlanders.

“Our preparations for our game against ZPC are going on well, we are approaching the game with a positive mind, and obviously we want to win this game to boost our morale,” said Mafu.

“We know that ZPC is a good team but I think we are now ready for the season and everyone in the team is now looking to win our first game.

“Our target this season is to do exceptionally good, we will concentrate on each game for now and at the moment we are only talking about ZPC. After that we will concentrate on our next match against Tsholotsho.”

Highlanders have been perennial under achievers in recent years while playing second fiddle to their bitter rivals Dynamos, who have won the title in the last four seasons.

Mafu faces a daunting task of trying to end the DeMbare hegemony and deliver Bosso’s first league title since 2006.

The Bulawayo giants lost a number of key players from their 2014 squad with the joint Castle Premiership Golden Boot winner Charles Sibanda joining How Mine.

Goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya followed Sibanda to the Bulawayo-based gold miners.

Midfielder Pascal Manhanga returned to Triangle after spending only half the season with Bosso.

Striker Njabulo Ncube’s contract was terminated due to the forward’s wayward behaviour.

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