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Soma-Phiri back in temporary charge


Highlanders will begin their pre-season preparations under the guidance of Amini Soma-Phiri as the club awaits the issuance of a work permit to their new Dutch coach Elroy Akbay.


Amini Soma-Phiri

Although he could not say when Akbay would be arriving in the country, Bosso chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede said the Dutchman’s papers were still being processed by the Department of Immigration.

“We are processing his papers. There are a lot of things required, but our head coach is Erol Akbay,” Gumede said.

“Unless there is a serious problem, he remains the coach. The technical team that was constituted after Bongani Mafu has been tasked to take charge of the pre-season before the coach comes,” Gumede said.

Gumede was, however, unsure of Soma-Phiri’s immediate availability since he had travelled to South Africa for an attachment at Moroka Swallows.

He said they were due to meet all the team’s coaches yesterday to brief them on the executive committee’s expectations.

Bosso will be retaining the bulk of their players from last season having lost the trio of Obadiah Tarumbwa, Nqobizitha Masuku and Teenage Hadebe following the expiry of their loan deals on December 31.

Tarumbwa and Hadebe are now on champions Chicken Inn’s books while Masuku has joined FC Platinum. Bosso are likely to retain Knox Mutizwa, who according to his agent, Gibson Mahachi, is likely to sign for South Africa’s Bidvest Wits and then loaned back to Highlanders for the first half of the season. Gumede said they would not be making wholesale changes to their squad with just a few additions expected.

“The technical team has been tasked with identifying weaknesses within the team and they have since done that. We are retaining as much as possible from last season. We have a winning team and all we need is to beef up the weak positions,” Gumede said.

Mutizwa and Bruce Kangwa will miss the start of pre-season training as they are part of the Chan squad.

But the likes of skipper Felix Chindungwe, Erick Mudzingwa, Simon Munawa, King Nadolo, Godfrey Makaruse, Ralph Matema, Honest Moyo, Valentine Ndaba, Rahman Kutsanzira and goalkeepers Ariel Sibanda and Njabulo Nyoni are all expected to report for training.

Mthulisi Maphosa has set his sights on joining Bulawayo City after his deal expired last month.

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