FAMED former Highlanders juniors coach Ali “Baba” Dube says the current senior team is not worried about results but the month end pay cheque.
He stopped short of calling them mercenaries, but took a swipe at the players saying they do not have the club at heart.
Bosso were humiliated 0-4 by Caps United in Harare on Sunday, a result which marked a third defeat in a row following the 0-1 loss to Harare City and 1-3 to ZPC Kariba.
Southern Eye Sport spoke to the veteran coach in a holds barred interview yesterday.
“Players like Zenzo Moyo, the late Adam Ndlovu and Rambo (Mercedes Sibanda) would fight till the end. The current players don’t care because they know that at the end of the month they will get their salaries. Even if they lose they don’t care.
“In 1975-6 we bought 13 players from Harare like Isaac Mafaro, the Chieza brothers and a lot of other players. After that they broke away and formed a team called Olympics. Barry Daka was playing for that team. After the formation of Highlanders only five players were left. They were the late Tymon Mabaleka, Lawrence Phiri, Josiah Nxumalo, Majuta Mpofu and Douglas Mloyi who was a junior then.
“They came to me (juniors) to get players so that there could be a complete first team. They took 10 players to the senior team. Some of the players were Augustine Lunga, Msitheli Sikhosana, David Mhlanga and Willy Luphahla who went to join the first team. Maybe that is what they want to do now because the way some of them are playing shows that they are not dedicated. They are not Highlanders players they are just after money unlike players like Zenzo.”
“Players like Zenzo used to play knowing they would not get a cent but they knew that the team was theirs. Even if other players wanted to go on strike players like Zenzo, the late Rambo and Willard Khumalo would never agree,” he said
He said Highlanders needs to revisit the junior policy if they are to be successful.
“Highlanders need players who will play for the team from Under 12, 14 and 16. If they play from junior level they understand because if you go and tell them that there is no bread they will understand and walk away and go home. But if you tell these players that there is no money they will strike.
He said the task was made easy by then chairman (Ndumiso Gumede) who was fully behind them.
“When Gumede was chairman when there were cup games like Castle Cup and Chibuku Cup if the teams won the juniors would fly from Harare. Highlanders should also do what Methembe Ndlovu is doing. Pay fees for the juniors. Gumede would come to me and ask which players I have identified and I would tell him to pay fees for players like Adam and Peter Ndlovu. They (the executive) don’t care about the juniors. During our time we would use 20 balls, 10 from February to June and 10 from, July to December. Nowadays you find that they have two or three balls.
“Gumede was very supportive but now those in charge do not care. You can find that a junior player is still wearing a uniform that was worn by Zenzo during his day,” Dube said.
He said today’s players need to be serious if they are to achieve what players like Zenzo and Peter Ndlovu achieved.
“Players like Zenzo and Rambo didn’t wait to be told to train. Rambo used to drink but he would train alone. Today if the coach doesn’t come they don’t train. These players are not dedicated at all. “You see a player like Murape Murape (Dynamos), he would rather die than for Dynamos to lose especially against Highlanders. Players like Rambo and Willard used to say we do not want to be beaten by Dynamos,” he said.
Dube said former coach Kelvin Kaindu had done well during his tenure.
“Kaindu did not make a mistake. When Kaindu came, Highlanders had finished position eight but he came and that year Bosso lost the championship on goal difference. The following year, they drew again and lost the championship on goal difference.
“Kaindu went to do his coaching course in England and when he came back from the course most of the players that had lost the championship to Dynamos on goal difference had left.
“I don’t understand how a big club like Highlanders could buy 17 or 19 players. You hear people say Kaindu bought a player like Chipunza (Tinashe). He might have bought some but how was such a player like Chipunza bought,” he said.