‘Bosso future bright’
IF ever they were any doubts about the future of Highlanders Football Club on the field, those doubts were quashed by the performance of the rookies that the club unleashed in its last league match against Hwange at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday. Paired against seasoned, tried and tested opponents like Hwange, Erol Akbay, the Highlanders coach chose to gamble and threw in a team with an average age of 19,63 years. The starting 11 was clearly a line up of football toddlers. The boys never disappointed, coming up with three well executed goals that left the few fans that braved the rainy Saturday afternoon to come and cheer the youngsters, convinced that Highlanders’ future was not under any threat. Highlanders opened their score sheet through a gem of a goal from 20-year-old Adrian Silla (brought to Highlanders by Joel Luphahla), who shrugged off a challenge from Andrew Chuma just outside the box, charged forward a metre or so before releasing a curler that many and probably even Hwange goalkeeper Taimon Mvula, thought was going out only for the ball to sail into the top right corner of the goal and into the nets.
The quality of the goal was top class, especially for a player as young as Silla. McCarthy Dube put Bosso two up with a goal of individual brilliance after a nice one two move by the Highlanders youngsters that was started by Prince Dube and finished by another Dube. McCarthy received a pass from inside the 12-yard box amid a cluster of Hwange defenders. Surrounded and with his colleagues trying to open up, McCarthy, who had his back to the goal, sold a dummy by pretending to be turning to his right but in a flash turned left and let loose a lawn mower that gave Mvula no chance.
Substitute Douglas Sibanda, who came in for the injured Peter Muduhwa, killed the match as a contest with a third goal deep into the match after a good move by Silla.
Hwange’s attacks were thwarted by the Bosso defence which included 18-year-old Bukhosi Ncube who partnered stand in captain Muduhwa as well as Nkosana Ndlovu, son to former skipper and assistant coach Bekithemba “Super” Ndlovu.
Nkosana put up a top drawer performance on the right side of defence, a territory so monopolised by his father. It was hard to believe that the young man was making his first team debut on game number 30. If he does not grow big headed, the right back headaches could be over for Akbay.
This season Highlanders exchanged Tendai Ngulube and Benson Phiri on the right back but both players are not natural defenders but midfielders.
“My youngsters played very good football, they were tactically perfect in both halves. I am very proud of what I saw on Saturday, the future looks bright,” said Akbay yesterday.
Meanwhile, Prince Dube and Bukhosi Ncube left yesterday for the Cosafa Under-20 camp in Harare.