HIGHLANDERS head coach Madinda Ndlovu is looking forward to a better season next year where he is confident that his team will fight for the Castle Lager Premier Soccer league title.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
In an interview with NewsDay Sport, Ndlovu whose side has been very active in the transfer market, admitted that he can no longer ride on the mantra of developing the team as the supporters want success.
He said that, while this year was a good platform to lay out the foundations for next year they will need to step up and move on to the next stage and try to win something.
“We need to progress. We need to show our followers that we have gone from stage one to stage two within the set of the three years of the project,” Ndolvu said.
“If the boys had finished below position eight, which was the previous position on the log, we would be talking something else. But the fact they finished three positions better, it means that they are capable of becoming championship material. It is a matter of time. They are well-oiled to grab that championship. It can happen next season. If they improved by three positions and they do that again, it is going to be second position and that would be commendable. Anything is possible. We are looking forward to getting better than this past season and not worse.”
He said having introduced a number of players to the topflight, he was pleased with what his team has achieved.
Ndlovu rejoined the club as coach at the beginning of last season and immediately got rid of some of the team’s older players preferring to work with a youthful squad that made a bright start to the campaign before falling off the pace latter in the season.
“I think for the team to have achieved fifth position in the first year of campaigning after promoting our players from development into the mainstream I think it was a great achievement. Looking forward to the next season, our analysis is that, we will rectify the challenges we have in the team so that we can quickly mature with the game. We can’t be on the same position of developing, for how many years we are going to be developing?” he said.
Ndlovu is credited to have developed the group of players that went on to win the league title under Rahman Gumbo and then Methembe Ndlovu.
He said that the first season has toughened up his boys and they will come back a better unit when they kick off the 2019 campaign.
“The boys got a taste of premier league football. Things got tougher at a later stage so now we are looking at the mental capacity of the players that we have got. The project has helped us to identify the weaker ones and the stronger ones.”
Ndlovu wants to see Highlanders improve on the conversion rate and with the return of Prince Dube as well as the addition of Bukhosi Sibanda they got themselves two reliable attackers who can get them then goals to push for the title.
“Our scoring was not really sharp. We were winning some games ,but we were not as sharp as we would have wanted to be.”
The Bulawayo giants start next season with three new acquisitions in Dube and midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku and attacking midfielder Sibanda.
Striker Gabriel Nyoni has been reluctant to renew his stay at Bosso as he is seemingly headed for Caps United, while defender Peter Muduhwa has been stalling on a new deal with reports linking him to Chicken Inn.