HIGHLANDERS newly-appointed coach Bongani Mafu could give a second chance to a host of players that were reportedly shown the door last month, as he builds the team for the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) season.
A highly-placed source yesterday told Southern Eye Sport that Mafu, unveiled last Tuesday, had requested the Bosso executive for the players when he starts pre-season preparations next month.
“Mafu has been paying courtesy calls on players who were reportedly offloaded and it is likely that he will give a chance to some of them if he gets his way with the executive,” the source said.
One of the players likely to be donning the black and white jersey again is veteran midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa.
Some of the players Bosso are reportedly not renewing contracts for are Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, Hillary Madzivanyika, Simon Munawa, Joel Ngodzo, Simba Sithole, Dumisani Ndlovu and goalkeeper Njabulo Nyoni.
Chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede has said Bosso will not be offloading any players until the technical team is intact.
Highlanders are expected to announce Mafu’s assistants next week with former Chicken Inn and Bantu Rovers associate coach Mandla Mpofu the leading candidate together with former Bosso skipper Dazzy Kapenya.
Mafu yesterday confirmed that he had been talking to some players and was willing to help in rehabilitating players who had fallen out with the club because of disciplinary issues.
“I have asked the executive to be given the opportunity to talk to some players who were part of the team in the 2014 season. I don’t think the executive gave any players letters to say they should go,” Mafu said.
“They might have had an idea of who they wanted to offload, but I guess they had to wait for the incoming coach. I have the prerogative of making my choice on players and I have been given the list of players and it’s up to me to see those beyond redemption.
“I have made calls on players who are available and got to know where they stay and would like to help where I could. I want to work with players who want to work and not those who want to party,” he said.
Mafu would not reveal his assistants who he has reportedly identified saying that is the duty of the executive.
Last week, Gumede denied that Highlanders had shown any of their players the door.
“I am not sure about that. We leave that task to the technical team. We cannot offload players as the management, because we don’t know who is in the coach’s plans and who is not. Plans hinge on the technical team, not the management. I can only confirm that there some senior players we have tried to engage on new contracts, but they have not been co-operating,” Gumede said.
When he was unveiled last Tuesday Mafu said: “I bel ieve we have good players. What we have to change are ideologies, behaviours and approaches to get out the best possible (performance).”
News from South Africa is that speedy left linkman Kuda Mahachi could be on his way back to Highlanders on loan from Absa PSL champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Some senior players who would probably be the backbone of Bosso in 2015 are Felix Chindungwe, Erick Mudzingwa, Bruce Kangwa, Welcome Ndiweni, Rahman Kutsanzira, Innocent Mapuranga and goalkeepers Ariel Sibanda and Munyaradzi Diya.
The youthful pair of King Nadolo and Godfrey Makaruse impressed at the end of the season and defender Webster Chingodza will be returning from injury.
Other young players at Bosso are Honest Moyo, Grassiano Chakafana, Mgcini Sibanda, Bothwell Nyathi, Pascal Manhanga and Tapiwa