Warriors legends clash at Morris Depot

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Former Highlanders, Warriors internationals and childhood friends Madinda Ndlovu and Willard Khumalo clash at Morris Depot on Saturday afternoon as Black Mambas and Zimbabwe Saints meet in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match.

Having grown in Barbourfields and Mzilikazi suburbs, the pair knows each other like the
back of their hands and have travelled the
same route, through the junior and senior national teams before coaching Highlanders and in Botswana.

They featured in the late Reinhard Fabisch’s Dream Team squad of the 1990s that came close to reaching the US 1994 World Cup, but both have been unfortunate in never having played in the Africa Cup of Nations.

On one hand, Ndlovu has assumed the role of technical director at Black Mambas and Northern Region Division One side Highfield United, but there is no doubt his bigger role is in making sure the police team does not fight relegation for the second year running.

From two matches against Motor Action (2-0) and Blue Ribbon (2-1), they have picked up zilch in points and need their first win. Coach John Ncube conceded after the losses they needed to work on a number of areas if they are to pick up maximum points.

For now, Mambas remain stuck in 14th place, but having conceded four times and scored once.
Khumalo, on the other hand, has taken over as Saints coach and is assisted by another former Warriors great Agent Sawu.

From two games, Chikwata has picked up three points after a 1-0 win over Kiglon last week preceded by a 5-3 mauling by league leaders Caps United.

The number of former Warriors rises to four as legendary skipper Peter Ndlovu is now on the Mambas’ books on loan from his principal owners Highfield United.

Peter has not had a good start on his return to local football after 20 years in England and South Africa, but which youngster today would not want to emulate the great by playing with him or even achieving great heights?

For Mambas, former Highlanders attacking midfielder Protasho Kabwe, Fortune Ncube, formerly of Hwange, Audience Rundofa and Warriors trialist Ben Nyahunzvi are some of the material Ndlovu has to utilise to come up with a win.

Saints, the league champions in 1988, have hit the next four times in two games and that shows their potency in front of goal and Mambas must be wary of that. Khumalo is known to employ the attacking 3-5-2 formation.

Khumalo has gathered four veterans to anchor his side: Philip Sithole, Chipo Tsodzo, Vorster Chitema and Danisa Phiri, who have all played at top level.

In addition, Bevan Chikaka has been leading from the front and scored the solitary goal that handed Saints the win over Kiglon with support from former Highlanders striker Abraham Mbaiwa, Castro Ndebele and Ntokozo Tshuma.