Highlanders captain Gilbert Banda could be headed for Absa Premiership side SuperSport United after he caught the eye of the South African football club’s agents in the maiden Ellis Park World of Sport Winter Cup friendly match against Bloemfontein Celtic.
Highlanders manager Jerry Sibanda, who travelled with the Bulawayo giants to South Africa, Mondayconfirmed that SuperSport were interested in the dreadlocked skipper, who had a wonderful game against Siwelele at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, on July 9.
Bosso lost 3-0 to Bloemfontein Celtic in a penalty shootout after a 3-3 deadlock in regulation time.
Sibanda said they communicated with SuperSport after the match and if all had gone well, Banda should have left for South Africa last Friday.
“They watched him when we played Bloemfontein Celtic and they were impressed. He played very well. They talked to him after the match. He is at the peak of his game at the moment. We are waiting for them to communicate and if they do and if his ticket comes, we are going to release him. He actually should have left last Friday and we only await their communication,” Sibanda said.
Banda joined Bosso for the Bloemfontein Celtic tie from a two-week trial stint with Platinum Stars organised by former Warriors defender Edzai Kasinauyo’s Tamba Sport Management firm.
Highlanders are also waiting to hear from Platinum how the trials went.
Sibanda said the SuperSport scouts who watched the Bloemfontein Celtic tie said they were surprised why Platinum Stars had not grabbed the former Warriors captain. Platinum Stars coach Owen Da Gama, however, has said he will not be signing Banda, as he “lacks the height” they require.
Banda’s countryman Gilbert Mapemba, however, may sign for the club.
“Mapemba has left, but might still come back to join us. We have two other players that we are looking for in the right-back position and should he be better than those, he will sign,” Da Gama told football publication Kick Off.
Banda is a veteran at the Bulawayo football giants and suffered a career-threatening knee injury which sidelined him for one year before he had to undergo arthroscopy to make a return to the game.
The central defender has suddenly become forceful even in attack, scoring two goals for Highlanders against Caps United, a winner in a league match and another for the Bosso to qualify for the semi-final of the 2011 edition of the BancABC Sup8r Cup.
Efforts to get a comment from SuperSport United yesterday were fruitless.
However, reports from South Africa state that SuperSport defender Morgan Gould left on July 11 for trials with English Championship (first division) side Crystal Palace.
Palace have reportedly agreed on a R5 million fee for Gould with SuperSport should he impress and Banda could be a replacement for the big Bafana Bafana defender if a move to South Africa materialises.
Gould’s manager Glyn Binkin is quoted in the South African media saying the defender had proved himself in the last games with Bafana Bafana and he was confident he would make it during the trials.