HOW Mine head coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube will be on the hunt for a first win over Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) football giants Highlanders when the two sides meet in a Bulawayo derby at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Since taking up the job as a top-flight football coach with Njube Sundowns in 2008, Ncube is yet to register a win against Bosso. Save for the 2-1 How Mine win over Bosso on May 19 when he was assistant to Philani Mabhena, Beefy has not beaten Highlanders either at Sundowns, Chicken Inn or Quelaton.
The 2008 Coach of the Year said beating Highlanders, a team established in 1926, would be a bonus for him.
“There is always a first time. My boys are all in good shape. We still have today (yesterday) and tomorrow (Friday) to prepare.
“Beating Highlanders will be a bonus for me, but we are going in there to play our normal game. We have two teams that meet on Sunday with two different objectives. We want to survive relegation and Highlanders want to win the title — that will make the game interesting.We respect Highlanders very much. We have only been in the league for nine months and we are playing a team that was established in 1926.”
How Mine have former Highlanders players in skipper Hebert Dick, Gilbert Banda, Menard Mupera, Nqobile Mpala, Arnold Ndiweni and Warren Dube.
Dick and Mpala scored in the first game when How Mine beat Bosso 2-1 in May at Emagumeni.
But the man to watch at How Mine is their top goalscorer Simbarashe Sithole, yet to make a mark since returning from trials with South African side AmaZulu.
Also at the gold miners are Timothy January and Simon Njeleza.
Meanwhile, How Mine chairman Mlondolozi Nkomo has said they would be sticking to the $3 charge for the rest of the ground, $5 for the wings and $10 for the VIP as they want to see many fans coming to watch the derby.
Highlanders will be without midfielder Milton Ncube when they head for Sunday’s clash due to suspension. They have other players who have been active during the break — returning Warriors skipper Masimba Mambare, Peter “Rio” Moyo and goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya.
Bosso are on position three on the log table with 37 points from 20 matches, a single point behind leaders Dynamos, who face Caps United on Sunday in another derby in Harare and Harare City, away to Triangle at Gibbo Stadium on Sunday. Highlanders skipper Innocent Mapuranga said it was going to be a tricky encounter.
In Zvishavane, FC Platinum who beat Hwange 1-0 in their last game at the Colliery, could add on to Monomotapa’s woes at Mandava on Sunday.
Monomotapa, coached by Biggie Zuze, have lost their last four matches in the league in addition to being bundled out of the BancABC Sup8r Cup by FC Platinum.
They conceded five goals in their last two matches, losing 0-3 to Hwange at home and 0-2 to Highlanders.
FC Platinum coach Lloyd Mutasa seems to be getting things right for the platinum miners and he welcomes Warriors Charles Sibanda, Ali Sadiki, Donald Ngoma and Nelson Maziwisa for Sunday’s tie.