OBADIAH Tarumbwa and Zephania Ngodzo joined Highlanders players for a two-hour training session at Hartsfield Rugby Ground under the watchful eye of the new technical team led by head coach Bongani Mafu.
Tarumbwa and Ngodzo, former Bosso players, played for Bantu Rovers in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League last season and yesterday trained with Highlanders together with Chicken Inn goalkeeper Liberty Chirava and midfielder Canaan Nkomo.
They joined senior players Felix Chindungwe, Mthulisi Maphosa, Innocent Mapuranga, Simon Munawa, Erick Mudzingwa, Dumisani Ndlovu, Rahman Kutsanzira, Gabriel Nyoni and Welcome Ndiweni.
The senior players were secluded from a host of about 60 trialists that swamped Hartsfield Rugby Ground yesterday as Highlanders got into their second day of pre-season training.
Trialists continued with their session after the seniors had left. Mafu said he had not called anyone, but everyone was free to give it a try.
“I have not invited anyone, but honestly there are some players who are tried and tested who cannot go through the trials,” he said.
“I know some of these players and if I want them it will depend on me and not on how they have necessarily fared in these training sessions.
“We have about 20 players from last year. I asked them to come because I want to have a look at them. We have about four-and-a-half teams (over 60 players) on trials. What I have just told these players is my philosophy of play and that if they are over the age of 28, they may just as well bid us farewell.”
Also at training yesterday from last year’s team were Webster Chingodza, Simba Sithole, Hillary Madzivanyika, Knox Mutizwa, Ozias Zibande, Tapiwa Dephistara, King Nadolo and Godfrey Makaruse.
How Mine striker Edmore Muzanenhamo trained with the senior team.
Conspicuous by their absence were 2014 Golden Boot joint winner Charles Sibanda, Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube and Joel Ngodzo, who hogged the limelight last year over incidents of indiscipline, goalkeepers Ariel Sibanda, Munyaradzi Diya and Njabulo Nyoni, left-back Bruce Kangwa and midfielder Pasca Manhanga.
Diya is understood to be eyeing a move to Triangle where former Bosso head coach Kelvin Kaindu is favourite to assume the reigns.
Sources at Triangle told our sister paper NewsDay yesterday that Diya was likely to sign as the Lowveld side was close to snatching former Highlanders’ goalkeepers coach Tembo Chuma from ZPC Kariba.
“We are making an effort to lure Munyaradzi Diya and we are expecting him this week to discuss a transfer,” the source said.
Triangle chairman Lovemore Matikinyidze said they wanted to beef up their squad, without mentioning any names.
“At the moment we are finalising on the issue of our technical bench and the issue of signing new players will be dealt with by our new technical bench, but we always beef our squad during the off-season break,” he said.
Among Bosso trialists were Qinani “Chroma” Sibanda, Ashton Mhlanga, Lucky Nyathi and Lewis “Rambo” Ncube, who was loaned to Division One side Black Boots last year.
Midfielder Douglas Sibanda, who was on loan to relegated Shabanie Mine last year is said to be on his way back to the Bulawayo giants.