Akbay returns, commits to Bosso

HARARE - Highlanders coach Erol Akbay returned from his holiday in the Netherlands yesterday and immediately revealed he has no intentions of leaving the club.

The Dutchman, who has been reported to be on his way out of the Bulawayo giants, touched down at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport where he was welcomed by the club’s officials.

Akbay arrived at Highlanders at the beginning of the 2016 season and had a commendable first season leading Bosso to a third place finish on the log table behind champions CAPS United and FC Platinum, who finished second.

His work at Highlanders triggered interests from a number of local and foreign clubs. But upon his arrival yesterday Akbay said he wants to honour his contract with Bosso.

“I’m back at Highlanders because I have a contract with them,” Akbay told the Daily News.

“I’m not aware of any offers from other teams. It seems newspapers know a lot about me than myself. But as far as I’m concerned I’m still at Highlanders and I don’t want to breach my contract. I am happy here and I hope we will have a successful year.”

The Highlanders hierarchy gave Akbay a two-year performance-based contract and tasked the Dutchman to build a side that would challenge for honours.

However, Highlanders surprised most football followers as they stubbornly clung on the coattails of the leading pack as the season progressed. Not many had given them a chance of fighting for the title under Akbay, but they defied odds to challenge early pacesetters FC Platinum and CAPS.

Highlanders are set to embark on a week-long training camp in South Africa starting tomorrow as they seek to intensify their preparations for the 2017 Premiership season.

Bosso began their pre-season preparations last month with the team going through their drills under assistant coach Amini Soma-Phiri in the absence of Akbay, who was still in the Netherlands.

Akbay said they would use the trip across the Limpopo to put the team in the right frame for the new season.

“Preparation for the new season is one of the best things you can have,” he said.

“I was not around and I’m not sure yet how much ground they have covered but we are going to use the tour to work on several aspects that can improve the team before serious business starts.”

Bosso are yet to make any announcement on new signings but their chances could be boosted after news that they have sealed a deal with sponsors BancABC for renewal and is now awaiting official announcement.

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