STUNG by losing Masimba Mambare on Monday, Highlanders have swooped on Joel “Josta” Ngodzo from FC Platinum as they bolster their squad for the 2014 Premiership onslaught.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Mambare was out of contract and was expected to sign a new deal with Bosso, but opted for bitter rivals Dynamos.
Ngodzo (24) watched yesterday’s training session at St Columbus High School and said he would start training with the Bulawayo football giants, a club where he made his name before he was lured to cash-rich FC Platinum in 2011 together with his brother Zephania, who has since joined Chicken Inn.
The midfielder, who had recently not been getting game time at FC Platinum under Lloyd Mutasa, has previously indicated his intention to return to Bosso.
“I am joining Highlanders and will start training soon,” Josta said yesterday at St Columbus.
Josta has reportedly been put on strict diet to shed weight by Bosso head coach Kelvin Kaindu and is one of the players expected to sign with Bosso together with Charles Sibanda, who has also left FC Platinum and Hwange’s Erick Chipeta, for whom the Bulawayo giants are engaging the coal-miners.
Only three players have so signed with Bosso and these are midfielder Welcome Ndiweni, Khumbulani Banda and Valentine Ndaba, who was not at training yesterday.
Highlanders could also lose Peter Moyo to Dynamos as the Harare side’s officials were reportedly a permanent fixture at the Warriors Chan camp in the last two weeks.
Mambare’s move has torched a storm among the Bosso faithfuls who believe Warriors assistant coach Kalisto Pasuwa, Warriors coach Ian Gorowa, who is a former Dynamos player, and goalkeeper’s coach Gift Muzadzi (also a former Dynamos goalkeeper), used their influence during the Chan camp to pressurise the player.
Dynamos are reported to have paid just $15 000 to get his signature.
Mambare had already been demoted to vice-captain and was replaced by Patson Jaure, who was banned for seven matches for attempting to assault a referee last season.
Highlanders’ preparations for the new season got into their second day at St Columbus with no new faces joining training except for Banda and Ndiweni.
Most of the players from last year attended training with a number from the juniors’ ranks, while notable absentees included top striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube.
Goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, Milton Ncube and Moyo are in South Africa with the Warriors for the African Nations Championships tournament, which starts on Saturday.
Highlanders were joined in training by former Warriors midfielder Joseph Ngwenya, who is on holiday and plies his trade in the USL Pro League for Richmond Kickers, a team he joined last April.