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DeMbare clash, a test for Bosso title credentials

Bosso head into the fresh campaign determined to shake off the disappointment of a drop to fifth place in the league last term, a campaign they started well and appeared headed to easily win.

HIGHLANDERS assistant coach Try Ncube feels his club is primed to show their league title hunger this season when they kick off the new season with a blockbuster home clash against bitter rivals Dynamos in a fortnight’s time.

Bosso head into the fresh campaign determined to shake off the disappointment of a drop to fifth place in the league last term, a campaign they started well and appeared headed to easily win.

The fixture list has thrown up a fascinating showdown to begin the season for Highlanders, and the Bulawayo giants are desperate to prove they remain genuine title contenders.

Both teams did not really have the best of seasons last year if the truth be told, so the two giants will be looking to stamp their authority and make the most of the first game.

Ncube believes the game will give his side an early test of their title credentials this term as they launch yet another quest to end their 17-year league title drought.

“The fixtures on their own have managed to turn on our heads so that we know that the season has started and playing Dynamos is not just another match,” Ncube said.

“It’s a big match, and I think it will give us a good barometer of where we are and what we want to achieve this season.”

Just like all other teams, Highlanders are wrapping up their pre-season preparations and they played two friendly matches against some league rivals in the last two weeks, winning both.

They beat GreenFuel 1-0 last week, courtesy of an Andrew Mbeba trademark freekick, and were also 2-1 victors over city rivals Bulawayo Chiefs over the weekend.

Striker Lynoth Chikuhwa, largely sidelined last season, netted a brace at Luveve Stadium on Sunday, repaying the faith that has been shown on him by new coach Kelvin Kaindu.

The Zambian was on the bench for the weekend match, having missed last week’s game due to work permit issues.

Ncube said he was happy how preparations had proceeded so far and believed the team was heading in the right direction.

“In terms of player combinations, we are doing well and so far so good. We created a lot of chances (against Chiefs), but we missed some. We are getting ready for the season and I can safely say we are getting there,” he said, noting that they were done with the transfer business unless they find a really special talent in the market.

“If there is one exceptional player around, we are going to sign him,” Ncube said.

The team’s failure to convert the numerous chances that came their way in the game against Chiefs may be a cause for concern for Bosso faithful because it was the strikeforce department which let the team down last season, scoring just 24 goals, the same as relegated Triangle, who finished third from the bottom.

In fact, Highlanders only scored more goals than Sheasham and Cranborne Bullets, the two teams which finished at the bottom of the log standings.

Strikers Stanley Ngala and Washington Navaya, who scored two goals each last term, were sacrificed as a consequence, together with coach Baltemar Brito and his assistant Antonio Torres.

But Chikuhwa, despite an underwhelming season when he also scored two goals the entire term, survived the purge and has been given another chance to redeem himself as he is expected to lead the team’s attack.

“He has been working very hard at training. He is a big boy who is eager to learn. I think we are going to see more of him,” Ncube added.

Kaindu has also shored up his attack by bringing in Reason Sibanda, who arrived from newly-promoted side Arenel Movers and Brighton Ncube, who was at Chicken Inn last year.

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