HIGHLANDERS Football Club will on January 26 hold an annual general meeting (AGM) at Highlanders Sports Club with the issue of tying players to longer contracts likely to be the burning topic for discussion by club members.
Senior players Masimba Mambare, Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, Peter “Rio” Moyo, Milton Ncube, Mthulisi Maphosa, Erick Mudzingwa and goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya’s contracts with Highlanders expired on December 31 after most of them signed between one and two-year deals.
Mudzingwa, Maphosa, Mambare, Milton and Njabulo Ncube have indicated they will renew their contracts. Diya will also renew if he does not move to Golden Arrows in South Africa.
Moyo is wanted by Dynamos and the Highlanders technical team could let him move as they have signed Valentine Ndaba from Shabanie Mine while Charles Sibanda and Joel Ngodzo are also expected to sign before the closure of the transfer window.
Ngodzo, in fact, started following coach Kelvin Kaindu’s prescribed diet last December in a bid to shed off some weight and is sure to return to the black and white giants. Sibanda was expected to seal a deal yesterday before leaving for South Africa for the Chan finals.
Members are likely to put the Peter Dube-led Bosso executive to task to negotiate longer contracts with new players that they will be engaging this year and those that are renewing, taking into consideration the players’ ages.
Highlanders life member and former executive committee member Omega Sibanda said: “We need to talk seriously about player contracts. Most of the senior players contracts expired on December 31. Why should 90% of the player contracts expire on the same day?
“The club has gained stability financially and that is the way for us to lure quality players. Let us not import just for the sake of it but we need to import quality players into our system. We should not import names, but we should look at the players’ record and what quality a player is?” he said.
Sibanda said there was need to seriously look at the club’s debts.
“We need to discuss individuals whom we owe as a club. We need to look at the China money ($14 000). If that money was deposited then there should be paper trail. That member (Odiel Nkomo) should explain where he deposited the money because$14 000 is a lot,” he said.
Another Bosso life member Faith Silandulo Dube weighed in with his opinions: “The executive has addressed the key issue of the technical team, but I think the most topical will be the Themba Ndlela debt and other debts which obviously have an influence on the viability of the institution.
“It is now quite historical for Highlanders not to tie down players to longer contracts, so I cannot blame the executive on that because the main issue is money.
“It is difficult to negotiate a contract when there is no money. If Bosso have the sponsorship then they should negotiate deals even mid-season. If the BancABC deal has been sealed we need to know if there are any improvements to the previous one,” he said.
Sources on Saturday said a new improved deal with BancABC had already been concluded and the club was on the verge of a huge multi-million dollar sponsorship deal with an international retail chain group. Bosso are expected to start their 2014 pre-season training today although club chairman Peter Dube told Southern Eye Sport last week that they were confident of retaining all senior players whose contracts had expired.
However, with Bosso targeting several players to beef up their squad this season the issue of the ages of the players that are being targeted will definitely come into play.
Likely to be discussed is the new coaching team headed by Kaindu while new technical team members Mark Mathe and legendary Bosso son Peter “Oxo” Nkomo are likely to be introduced on the day.
The championship drought is one of the issues likely to be discussed. Bosso again lost the championship to Dynamos on goal difference just like in 2012. The club has had poor performances at Barbourfields Stadium.
Bosso last won the championship in 2006 under Methembe Ndlovu. Last season they won the Mbada Diamonds Cup.