Highlanders target Mandaza


Bulawayo Premiership giants Highlanders have joined the queue for Botswana’s Township Rollers striker Terrence Mandaza as they seek to bolster their stuttering strike force when the transfer window opens next month.
Mandaza was the leading scorer in the Be Mobile league, scoring 31 times in the league and nine in the Coca-Cola Cup, in the process attracting interest from South African giants Orlando Pirates, Platinum Stars and AmaZulu.
He has been to trials at Pirates.
Highlanders secretary Andrew Tapela said they would offer the player a good package, but admitted the entry of South African premiership sides in the race for the former Sparrows and Dynamos player, would complicate the deal.
“We are ready to make him a good offer, but competition will be stiff once the SA sides declare their interest,” he said.
Southern Region Division One side Chapungu striker Francis Kanda is also on the radar of Highlanders coach Mohammed Fathi, but the club is also looking at Mozambique and Zambia for players.
“We are in the market like any other team that wants to win the league title.
“We are speaking to one or two players, but officially we are yet to seal deals.
“We are also looking at Mozambique and Zambia and we are hoping to get through soon. As for local players, we will keep our cabinet shut as teams usually up their stakes once they get bids from big teams,” Tapela said.
Fathi coached Kabwe Warriors in Zambia before his sojourn into Bulawayo last year to replace Madinda Ndlovu, now at Black Mambas.
The Egyptian has extensive contacts in that country which could help him to get players.
Highlanders have been struggling upfront and all their four home wins against Black Mambas, Gunners, Lengthens and Shooting Stars have yielded just five goals.
They have scored once on the road, putting pressure on strikers Abraham Mbaiwa, Joel Luphahla, Takunda Mapara and Simba Gate.
Luphahla has slowed down on pace, attacking midfielder Protasho Kabwe is finding the going tough, Mbaiwa is too short as a striker while Gate is not the same player who made his name at Masvingo United.
Highlanders lost Nqobile Mpala to Witbank Spurs of South Africa at the start of the year and since Ralph Matema left the club three years ago, they have not been able to replace him.
Matema is captain at Spurs.