BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS coach Mark Harrison is looking to add five new players to his squad as he targets the 2020 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title.
Harrison agreed to a two-year contract with the Bulawayo giants, taking over from Dutchman Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh who crossed the floor to champions FC Platinum. The Briton started work yesterday after acquiring his work permit.
Emerging from his first training session at the Old Mutual Heath Streak Cricket Academy in Bulawayo yesterday, Harrison confirmed he is looking at about five players with a view to beefing up the squad.
“We are looking at five or six players and hopefully we will start the season with a few new faces. We want to make an impact in the league and we will make sure the squad has enough players to compete. The players have been training for two weeks under the physical trainer and the assistant coaches (Mandla Mpofu and Bekithemba Ndlovu),” Harrison said.
Highlanders have already signed winger Michelle Katsvairo, who was at Ngezi Platinum Stars last term, former Caps United goalkeeper Chris Mverechena, Humphrey “Muchichwa” Ncube formerly with Bulawayo City and ex-Harare City’s Collin Mujuru.
Striker Mkhokheli Dube makes a return to the club where he ignited his career two decades ago before he went on football scholarship in the United States where he played in college leagues and the Major League Soccer.
He returned and played for AmaZulu in South Africa, Chicken Inn and Bulawayo City before joining FC Platinum where he was released at the end of last year.
The Bulawayo giants are close to capturing another veteran striker, Obadiah Tarumbwa, who joined Division One side Talen Vision last year from Chicken Inn.
Also training with the first team are Cadwell Gawaza, Darlington Mukuli, Darlington Dlodlo, Dominic Jaricha and Muziwethu Dlamini coming in from the club’s developmental side — Bosso 90.
Harrison said Highlanders will fight for the championship, but admits they face a tough challenge from other teams that are also looking good.
“I cannot guarantee the title. We have FC Platinum who have won the league three times in a row; we also have Chicken Inn and Caps who also gave a challenge last year. What I can say is that we also have to be up there. I have just come in as new coach at Highlanders to analyse what I have got and find out where we have weaknesses and where we can beef up. The new guys are shaping up nicely. We will be good. Everyone is good and buoyant,” Harrison said.
All the players from last year save for MacClive Phiri who is in South Africa have been training.
Striker Prince Dube, who returned from a trial stint in China, is also part of the cast preparing for the new season.