Highlanders not offloading players


HIGHLANDERS Football Club will begin the 2014 pre-season training next Monday confident of retaining all senior players whose contracts with the club expired yesterday.


Club chairman Peter Dube said although they had not yet signed contracts with the 2013 Mbada Diamonds Cup winners players, most of the players were guaranteed of new contracts with the club.

Welcome Ndiweni has already signed from FC Platinum while Aleck Marime, who finished the season with 11 goals at relegated Tripple B, is also expected to be offered a three-year deal.

Dube said Highlanders was not in a player crisis and everything was in order in their camp as the club was looking forward to retaining the players who led the team to the 2013 Mbada glory and finished second in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) race.

Bosso have already retained head coach Kelvin Kaindu who signed a two-year contract with the Bulawayo giants on Saturday and team manager Willard “Mashinkila” Khumalo, but made some changes in the technical bench bringing in Mark Mathe and Peter Nkomo to replace Bekithemba Ndlovu and Tembo Chuma.

“The contracts of most players might have expired, but we are sure as a club that we are going to retain our players. We do not have any intentions of offloading any players as they played well in the just-ended season.

“Just like any other employer, we value our employees, so we are not panicking. It is always good to bring back the players you have been working with because they have very little to be taught about the club culture. On Monday we will be having our first training for the 2014 season and they will be there, even those who have not yet renewed their contracts with the club,” Dube said.

The club will, according to PSL rules and regulations, register 25 players and five Under-20s to bring the total to 30. Dube said other players will be loaned out.

He said loaning was a better option as it would maintain the a bond between the club and the players.

“Of course we need to fill in one or two gaps where we are lacking, but our players are uppermost in our minds. We are not saying those who will join the club will be treated differently, they will all get the same treatment. Highlanders is a big family. Just because we cannot go beyond numbers in terms of registering our squad for the PSL, some of our players who will not fit in the squad will be loaned. They are not going to be offloaded,” he said.

Masimba Mambare, Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, Peter “Rio” Moyo, Milton Ncube, Mthulisi Maphosa, and Erick Mudzingwa are some of the senior players whose contracts with Highlanders expired yesterday.

FC Platinum’s Joel Ngodzo and Charles Sibanda are reportedly keen on joining the club, which is also eyeing Hwange defender Erick Chipeta, Triangle’s Pascal Manhanga and Shabanie Mine’s Valentine Ndaba.