I’m not hanging boots yet: Gilbert Banda

FORMER Warriors and Highlanders captain Gilbert Banda, released by Premier Soccer League (PSL) side How Mine, says he stills feels fit and is eyeing a move to newly-promoted Division One side BCC Golden Stars for 2015.

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Banda, who turns 32 this May, says he still awaits offers and is weighing options, but he is far from hanging his boots.

“I might be playing in Division One this year,” he said.

“I have talked to the coach at the city council club and he said he will get back to me. I have no hard feelings with How Mine for not renewing my contract. I enjoyed my stay at the team. But the truth is the journey is still on, I am very far from retiring.”

The dreadlocked Banda, with a senior career that spans from early 2000, was released by How Mine together with Brighton Dube, Caleb Masocha, George Magariro and goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura.

Emmanuel Mandiranga, who was on loan from Aces Academy and Edmore Muzanenhamo on loan from Division One side Ntabazinduna Prison, are at FC Platinum and Highlanders respectively.

Banda played for Highlanders juniors and was promoted into the senior team in 2001, winning the league title the same season, 2002 and in 2006, where he spent most of his career before making a move to FC Platinum in 2012.

During that period, Banda played for the national team from 2006 to 2010 and was the Warriors’ first captain at African Nations Championship in Ivory Coast in 2011.

At the peak of his career, he lifted the PSL title with Highlanders in 2006, coached by Methembe Ndlovu, as skipper.

When he left Bosso, Banda donated $7 000 that the Bulawayo giants owed him. He left Bosso to join FC Platinum with Louis Matawu.

They joined other former Highlanders players, brothers Zephania and Joel Ngodzo who had joined FC Platinum when they were promoted to top-flight football in 2011.

Banda returned from FC Platinum to join Bantu Rovers in Division One before joining How Mine last year.

He might be rejoining coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube who is tipped to take over at newly-promoted BCC Golden Stars. Ncube is employed by the Bulawayo City Council and brought Banda to How Mine last year.

Golden Stars are owned by the council and will soon recall Highlanders treasurer Jerry Sibanda to be their chairman.

Deputy mayor Gift Banda is the team’s patron.

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