THE two Canadian First Mobile Sports Academy (FMSA) players, striker Phillippe Barriault and goalkeeper Jean-Felix Lemieux were due to join the Highlanders pre-season training camp at Heath Streak’s farm in Inyathi late yesterday afternoon after meeting with the club’s executive committee.
FORTUNE MBELE,SPORTS REPORTER
FMSA’s Zimbabwean representative, Allan Mpofu yesterday said the two players had met with Highlanders chairman Peter Dube and all had been agreed for them to join camp and Mpofu said he would be driving them to Inyathi later in the day.
“We have met with the executive and it has been agreed that the boys join camp in Inyathi. They actually met with the chairman this morning (yesterday) and they have been much welcomed. I will actually be driving them to camp later in the day and hand them over to the technical team. After that it will be the technical team which will make comments on the boys and not me,” Mpofu said.
Highlanders treasurer Jerry Sibanda yesterday confirmed that they had met with the two players but said he had to leave the meeting early, referring questions to chairman Dube, whose mobile phone went unanswered.
Barriault (20) and Lemieux (19) arrived in Bulawayo from Johannesburg, South Africa on Sunday morning for a six-month attachment with Highlanders, who have said if they impress the coaches in pre-season, might be registered for the Premier Soccer League.
They join 18 Bosso players who travelled to Inyathi on Monday afternoon for a seven-day intensive training camp and include new signings Joel “Josta” Ngodzo, Valentine Ndaba, Welcome Ndiweni, Khumbulani Banda and goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni.
On Saturday, the two said they are looking forward to impressing the Highlanders coaches and playing in the PSL with goalkeeper Lemieux saying he wouldn’t mind a long contract with the Bulawayo giants if the coaches wanted him.
Their move to Highlanders has been facilitated by FMSA director Isaac Mbedzi, a Zimbabwean coach based in Canada and the academy and their parents are taking care of their stay in Zimbabwe.
Players that are in camp in Inyathi include skipper Innocent Mapuranga, Mthulisi Maphosa, Bruce Kangwa, Erick Mudzingwa, Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu, Simon Munawa, Hillary Madzivanyika, Douglas Sibanda, Gabriel Nyoni, Cleopas Dube and Mgcini Sibanda.
Goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda was also expected to join camp yesterday.
Save for head coach Kelvin Kaindu, expected next week, the entire technical team of assistant coach Mark Mathe, goalkeepers’ coach Peter “Oxo” Nkomo and welfare manager Willard Mashinkila-Khumalo is also in camp with fitness trainer Majaha Ndlovu.