FORMER FC Platinum midfielder and Highlanders son Joel “Josta” Ngodzo is still in Bosso head coach Kelvin Kaindu’s plans despite having failed to find his feet since rejoining the Bulawayo giants at the start of the season.
Ngodzo, who has not made a start for Bosso and came in as a substitute in just one match, has found the going tough since retracing his career to boyhood club, but Kaindu yesterday said the midfielder was still part of his plans.
“He is still in my plans and has been training with the rest of the team. All the players that we have registered are in our plans. He may not be in the team for a particular day, but that does not mean that he is not part of the team,” Kaindu said.
Ngodzo could come in handy for Highlanders in the next few weeks with midfielders Kudakwashe Mahachi, Milton Ncube and Peter “Rio” Moyo on their way to South Africa to the Absa Premier Soccer League.
Mahachi could be on his way to Mamelodi Sundowns before heading for trials with French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco after the Fifa World Cup next month. Ncube will be joining Ajax Cape Town while Moyo is going to Mpumalanga Black Aces.
South African clubs start pre-season training next Monday.
Kaindu yesterday said he was due to meet with team doctors to get an update on Mahachi, who suffered yet another injury in the Sunday match against Triangle at Gibbo Stadium.
Mahachi sustained a shin injury after a crude tackle on him by Triangle’s Charles Rukwanhi who was given marching orders by referee Munyaradzi Majoni.
The Warriors attacking midfielder recently recovered from an ankle injury sustained during training with Sundowns who were on tour in Namibia a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Highlanders’ title campaign could once again be hampered by draws they have played so far as the programme heads to the end of the first half of the season. They will take on champions Dynamos on Sunday in Harare.
Going into round 11 on Sunday, Bosso played their sixth draw in 11 matches, sharing the spoils with struggling Triangle at Gibbo Stadium in a 1-1 tie. They have dropped 12 points.
If the trend continues, the draws could return to haunt the Bulawayo giants like in 2012, when Zambian mentor Kelvin Kaindu took over from Mkhuphali Masuku. Highlanders shared top spot with three-time champions Dynamos on 69 points, but lost out on the title because of nine draws played in that season, when they only lost one match in 30 games, winning 20.
The Glamour Boys, who failed to exorcise last year’s Colliery ghost with a 0-1 defeat to Hwange on Sunday, had lost three times in 2012, winning 21 matches and playing six draws.
In 30 matches last season, Highlanders played six draws, lost eight matches and won 16, but once again lost the title to DeMbare who had 14 wins, 12 draws and four defeats with the two sides level on 54 points.
With 19 matches to go before the end of the season, Highlanders have played six draws, won five times and have not lost a match picking up 21 points. Compared to last year, Bosso’s performance has dropped a little in the first half of the season.
Kaindu yesterday conceded the draws were a source of worry, but was, however, optimistic they will get over the draws and start collecting maximum points.
“At the moment the draws could be a source of worry, but the positive thing is that we have not lost a match. We have just been giving away soft goals, but we are hoping that we will start picking up maximum points in the upcoming games. It was a plus that we got a point from Triangle yesterday (Sunday). There was a time when three Triangle players came face to face with the goalkeeper and Ariel (Sibanda) managed to save the situation. It was a dull match which picked up life in the second half and getting a point was really a plus,” Kaindu said.
By round 11 last season, Bosso had won seven times, drawn two times away from home to Dynamos at Rufaro Stadium and FC Platinum and they had garnered 23 points with two defeats.
In 2012, when they played nine draws throughout the season, Highlanders had won seven times, played four draws in the first 11 matches, two at home against Chicken Inn and Dynamos and two away to Buffaloes and Motor Action picking up 25 points without a defeat.
This season, in the 11 matches, the Bulawayo giants have not lost a match, won five games, played three draws at Barbourfields Stadium against Hwange, Chicken Inn and FC Platinum, and three away to Chapungu, ZPC Kariba and the Sunday draw against Triangle.
Highlanders have 21 points, just two ahead of champions Dynamos who have won six times, lost four matches with one draw.
At the top, Hwange have 22 points from six wins, four draws and one defeat.