BY SINDISO DUBE
HIGHLANDERS Football Club chairman Kenneth Mhlophe has vowed to restore the club’s development policy.
Bosso used to produce some of the best football talents and rarely used their cheque book in coming up with the senior squad.
He said that he wants to see Highlanders retain its place as the best talent producer among Premier League clubs.
“Football is the club’s core business although we do need wider revenue streams, hence we have the club house and recently, we acquired a mine, but our core business is football and its foundation is rooted with our junior policy,” he told NewsDay Weekender Sport.
We have heard some say we have abandoned the club’s core business and focusing more on the mine, it’s not like that. You can see that we have been revamping our training grounds which are located at Highlanders Sports Club. This is where the senior team and juniors’ team will be training and it will help a long way because we won’t be hiring training fields,” he said.
Mhlophe added that the refurbishment of the training grounds will give the club the foundation for nurturing young talent.
“The refurbishment of our training grounds started last year in February but it was hampered by COVID-19. So far of the three grounds we have managed to do one and half of the fields. Once we have that done, we will have the platform to nurture our juniors with the help of professional and qualified coaches. All this is to strengthen the club’s core business so that finding players for the senior team is not a hassle,” said Mhlophe.
In December, Highlanders received approval from the Mines and Mining Development ministry to start mining operations in Matabeleland North province as part of measures to widen its revenue streams.
The gold mining claim is in Inyathi, some 70km from Bulawayo, and is expected to ease the club’s financial woes.
“We received all the paperwork in December, meaning we can now start mining the precious mineral. This is a great income-generating initiative for the club. I am almost certain that this mining claim will improve our cash flow, as we try to turn the club into a successful business,” said Mhlophe.
Mhlophe who was elected into office in 2018 is seeking a second term and will face a challenge from farmer Johnfat Sibanda in the February 7 election, while Victoria Falls-based Morgan “Gazza” Dube has revealed his intentions to become the next secretary-general, challenging Israel Moyo, who still hasn’t announced his intentions to run for re-election.
The committee member position is so far a two-man race between Bheka Sibanda and Mgcini Mafu.
Other members of the Highlanders executive, vice-chairman Modern Ngwenya and treasurer Donald Ndebele, still have a year of their tenure left The elections will be held on February 7, a week after the club’s annual general meeting set for January 31 at Highlanders Sports Club.
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