BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS have made yet another major scoop, tying down Zimbabwe national Under-20 attacking midfielder Devine Mhindiriri on a two-year deal as they ramp up their preparations for the 2019 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.
Mhindiriri (18), who turned out for relegated Bulawayo City last season, is a former Chitungwiza FC player and was with the Young Warriors squad that lost to South Africa 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out in the final of the Cosafa Under-20 Championship in Zambia in December last year.
Former Bulawayo City coach Bekithemba Ndlovu, who is also the Young Warriors mentor and now assistant coach at Highlanders, may have been influential in bringing the player to Bosso.
Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube confirmed Mhindiriri’s capture to NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“Devine (Mhindiriri) has been signed. He signed straight into the Matopos’ camp. He has signed for two years and, hopefully, he does well in that period so we can extend. The technical team has been tracking him for a while,” he said.
Mhindiriri could be a replacement for Nigel Makumbe, who was on a year’s loan from FC Platinum and is reportedly on his way to ZPC Kariba.
The teen sensation was on target in a 2-1 aggregate win over Zifa Eastern Region Division One side Green Fuel in a training match at Green Fuel Arena in Chisumbanje on Saturday, scoring in the first match.
The Bulawayo giants won 1-0.
Prince Dube scored in the second game, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Mhindiriri will compete for the first team jersey with other new acquisitions Bukhosi Sibanda, Brian Banda and Denzel Khumalo.
Highlanders also made strong signings upfront in returning Dube, who signed in October last year, Tinashe Makanda who came in mid-season last year, and Cleopas Kapupurika captured from Dynamos.
Highlanders are also closing in on another striker, Russell Chifura from Aces Youth Academy.
Coach Madinda Ndlovu has also brought in defensive midfielder, Nqobizitha Masuku to fight it out with Adrian Silla and Ben Musaka, while they have signed former Bulawayo City
goalkeeper Wellington Muuya to compete with veteran Ariel Sibanda.
Muuya saved a penalty in the first game against Green Fuel on Saturday.
Highlanders concluded their tour of the Eastern Highlands and travelled back to Bulawayo yesterday.
They will break today and regroup tomorrow for continuation of pre-season training in the City of Kings.