BY FORTUNE MBELE
HIGHLANDERS are in talks with FC Platinum for the services of goalkeeper Future Sibanda as they continue to beef up their squad ahead of next month’s resumption of football.
The Bulawayo giants signed Chris Mverechena last year, but the former Caps United shot stopper left the club after a fallout with the team management.
Sibanda (24) played for How Mine and ZPC Kariba in the top league and Highlanders coach Mandla Mpofu yesterday confirmed that negotiations had gone well so far.
“We are talking to FC Platinum over young goalkeeper Future Sibanda who might be joining us anytime soon if all goes well. Remember, we had Mverechena who left and we have a slot for a goalkeeper and a striker. Future has been at How Mine and ZPC Kariba before,” Mpofu said.
Ariel Sibanda was between the sticks against Dynamos in the Independence Trophy final and was culpable for the first goal from a seemingly weak shot by Trevor Mavhunga six minutes into the game.
Mpofu is not happy with Ariel’s fitness, who appears to be overweight, but is hopeful that when the Premier Soccer League cluster competition kicks off next month, his captain will be in shape.
“He (Ariel) is in bad shape, but we have been out of action for a long spell. I hope that in four weeks, he will be in better shape,” Mpofu said.
Vice-captain Peter Muduhwa was liable for the second goal when he shot past Ariel in the second half.
Overall, Mpofu was impressed with his boys’ performance, but still needs an experienced central striker to bury those goals.
“I was impressed with the game, but the missing link is a striker. We have a job in hand to look for a striker who will come in and gel with the boys. That is where we were lacking even on Sunday,” he said.
“We were poor in the final third. If we can get an experienced striker then we will be okay. We don’t have anyone on our wish list but by the end of the week, names will be available.”
Highlanders last year lost two strikers in Prince Dube and Tinashe Makanda, with Michelle Katsvairo heading to Botswana for Township Rollers without kicking a ball.
They have a host of other players who can play upfront in their squad in Pritchard Mpelele, Toto Banda, Ray Lunga, Keith Mavhunga, Rodi Sibanda and the young Mthabisi Ncube, but Mpofu insists they need a top experienced striker.
They also brought in Lynoth Chikuhwa, Winston Mhango, Andrew Tandi, Chris Ncube and welcomed back Joel Ngodzo, who all featured in Sunday’s game against Dynamos.
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