Highlanders are in a goalkeeper quandary ahead of the EPWOS Winter Cup match against South African Absa Premiership outfit Bloemfontein Celtic at Ellis Park Stadium on Saturday as it has emerged that Lovemore Makwavarara does not have travelling documents.
Bosso’s first choice goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda is out of the friendly tie as he will be on national assignment with the Under-23 Young Warriors against South Africa in the second leg of the All-Africa Games final qualifier in Harare on Sunday.
The Bulawayo soccer giants fly to South Africa today where they clash with Siwelele in a R150 000 challenge friendly match which Celtic is using as part of the 2011-12 pre-season preparations.
Bosso head coach Mkhuphali “Mr Copper” Masuku on Thursday confirmed Makwavarara will not be in the trip to South Africa but instead said they would be travelling with former goalkeeper Chenjerai Dube as a guest player.
“Makwavarara is not travelling. He does not have a passport. But that is not going to be a problem as we are travelling with Chenjerai who has been training with us. Chenjerai will be there as guest player,” Masuku said.
Dube has been in Botswana with struggling be-Mobile Premier Soccer League side UF Santos.
“It is a good opportunity for some of our youngsters who might catch the eye of scouts in South Africa,” Masuku said.
Among the players in the Highlanders’ fold are dribbling wizard Rahman Kutsanzira, midfielder Arnold “Majaivana” Tshuma, Arnold Ndiweni, fast improving right-back Lawson Nkomo and Bruce Tshuma.
Also in the team are veterans Gift “Thebe” Lunga, Innocent Mapuranga, Bekithemba Ndlovu — and the team will be hooking up with captain Gilbert Banda in South Africa on Saturday.
Banda is on trials with Platinum Stars together with Caps United defender Gilbert Mapemba.
Bosso will walk away with R100 000 if they lose the match to the South Africans.
Celtic publicist Sello Nduna said it was an honour for Phunya Selesele to feature in this maiden Cup.
“The Ellis Park world of sport is trying to bring activities to Ellis Park Stadium and we are excited that Bloemfontein Celtic are among the first two clubs to feature in this competition,” Nduna said.
“There are thousands of Zimbabwean nationals living in areas around Ellis Park Stadium like Doornfontein, Yeoville, Berea and Hillbrow and Gauteng in general, and we expect them to come in numbers for the match.
“The main objective of the tournament is to forge closer links between South Africans and people from other countries living in the country.
“When South Africa was still oppressed by the apartheid government, the likes of Zimbabweans, Malawians, Zambians and Tanzanians took care of our liberation struggle heroes and heroines in their countries.
“We should do the same for foreigners who are in our country because of problems in their countries. We are sick and tired of cases of xenophobia and we will use this tournament to promote togetherness.”