CANADIAN First Mobile Sports Academy (FMSA) players, striker Phillippe Barriault and goalkeeper Jean-Felix Lemieux, arrived in Bulawayo yesterday morning for an attachment at Highlanders Football Club.
FMSA is run by Zimbabwean coach Isaac Mbedzi who facilitated the two players’ stint with Bosso.
If the players impress the Highlanders technical team they will be registered for the first half of the 2014 Premier Soccer League season as they are due to leave in July for Belgium for another attachment with FC Brugge.
Bosso are expected to embark on an out-of-town pre-season training camp starting today.
Barriault (20) and Lemieux (19) arrived by road yesterday morning from Johannesburg, South Africa, where they landed on Saturday.
Southern Eye Sport caught up with the two players doing shopping at Hillside shopping centre yesterday after they were picked up by FMSA’s Zimbabwean representative, Allan Mpofu. The two players said they were excited by their arrival in Zimbabwe and were looking forward to their stay at Bosso.
“We arrived in South Africa yesterday (Saturday). It was my second time in a plane and my first time in Africa. The weather is good because in Canada it’s minus 20 degrees now. I am excited to be in Zimbabwe and I am here to learn. If the coach thinks I am good; why not play for Highlanders? I have been playing for First Mobile Sports academy in the North American League for two years. We will be here for six months and will be leaving on July 6 or 7 for another attachment with FC Brugge in Belgium,” Barriault said.
His colleague, goalkeeper Lemieux said he would not mind a longer contract with Highlanders.
“I want to get most of the experience here and make it into the first team. I wouldn’t mind getting a further contract with Highlanders. What I want is to get a professional contract,” Lemieux said.
If Barriault makes the grade, he could come in handy for Bosso who have lost journeymen Masimba Mambare to Dynamos and Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube to FC Platinum, but would have to fight it out for a jersey upfront with Gabriel Nyoni, Cleopas Dube, Knox Mutizwa and Valentine Ndaba, who are some of the forwards at the Bulawayo giants.
Lemieux will compete with Diya and Njabulo “Popo” Nyoni who makes a return to Bosso after a three-year sojourn at city neighbours Chicken Inn.
Mpofu said the Canadians’ stay in Zimbabwe will be catered for by FMSA and their parents and they will be staying in Hillside.
He said he has been in talks with the Highlanders executive regarding the two players.
“They just arrived this morning and had been travelling for about 26 hours. They arrived in South Africa yesterday (Saturday) and preferred to travel by road to Zimbabwe saying they wanted to have a feel of Africa. I have held some discussions with the Highlanders chairman (Peter Dube) and when Mbedzi was in the country, he talked to the Highlanders executive about the players,” Mpofu said.
After former Bosso midfielder Joel “Josta” Ngodzo signed with the club on Saturday morning, club treasurer Jerry Sibanda said they were expecting the Canadians and if they impressed the coach (Kelvin Kaindu), Bosso would register them like American Melrose Place soap opera actor Andrew Shue who played for championship-winning Highlanders after he graduated in the US in 1989. Another American who has donned the black and white Bosso kit is Kelly Jacobson.