HIGHLANDERS will not renew the contracts of some senior players for the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL), a source has said.
Bosso endured a dreadful 2014 season finishing on position five with 45 points, failing to qualify for the Mbada Diamonds Cup which they won last season.
The source said the Bulawayo giants will part ways with midfielders Hillary Madzivanyika, Mthulisi Maphosa, Simon Munawa, Joel “Josta” Ngodzo and striker Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube.
“Simon Munawa has been offloaded. You can confirm others, but I am sure Hillary Madzivanyika and Mthulisi Maphosa are also facing the same fate,” said the source.
Munawa, Ngodzo and Madzivanyika’s contracts with Bosso expire on December 31. Ncube, who has been making headlines of indiscipline together with Ngodzo and Charles Sibanda, is also facing the axe.
The source added that Tshiki’s imminent fate is emanating from indiscipline and failure to deliver after rejoining the club from Zvishavane-based FC Platinum.
Despite having a running contract with Bosso, Maphosa is also said to among the players that are facing the chop.
At the beginning of this year Maphosa signed a two-year contract.
Chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede, however, refuted the rumours saying that it was not the task of the management to offload the players, but they would leave the job in the hands of the incoming coach who is expected to be announced by club chairman Peter Dube tomorrow.
“I am not sure about that. We leave that task for the technical team, we cannot offload players as the management because we don’t know who is in the coach’s plans and who is not. The plans hinge on the technical team, not the management. I can only confirm that there some senior players we have tried to engage on new contracts, but they have not been co-operating. Charles Sibanda is one of them, he told us he is consulting his manager, but he never came back,” Gumede said.
Gumede also said there is another senior player whose contract expires this year who has been linked with How Mine.
“We also heard that one of our senior players has joined How Mine, I am not sure who the player is. Another one is on trials with Maritzburg in South Africa. We expect them to communicate with the club, but they don’t. Right now we are getting it as rumours, I cannot even tell who is in South Africa or who has joined How Mine,” he said.
Highlanders are expected to announce former Zimbabwe Saints coach Bongani Mafu as head coach tomorrow.
Mafu, likely to be assisted by former Warriors defender Dazzy Kapenya or Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu, will then make the final decision on the player material for next season, although in previous interviews he has hinted at a return to junior policy.
“We need to bring back the impetus. We need to bring the pace and the passion and the people back. We need to work on a bigger picture, talking to the players. I will be going there to coach football, I am a football coach and my job will be to run a football club. I was born and bred in Bulawayo. There are few of us who don’t support Highlanders. But if I am going in there, I am not going there as a supporter, but to coach,” Mafu said.
He said he needed young players to bring back glory to the Bulawayo giants.
“I need vibrant, tactical and technically aware players whose performance on the pitch will suit and meet the needs of a team like Highlanders. We cannot have passengers. The younger you are, the better in sport. You cannot keep one up to the age of 28. You need to be young and vibrant. Personally I think a good 23-year-old boy is almost a senior player. From 18 to 23, I think that’s when you can get the best out of them.
“But I have never been afraid to put a 17-year-old if he has got the right body size, the right mental attitude. If I come in it will not be a total reshuffle per se; I think there are good players. Obviously you need to check at age, there are players who need to go and take a rest, but there may be some that you need,” he said.