HIGHLANDERS head coach Bongani Mafu has wielded the axe on midfielder Mthulisi Maphosa, apparently for indiscipline, although the player still has a running contract with the Bulawayo giants.
Maphosa was shown the door together with six other players who a source said are Joel “Josta” Ngodzo, Dumisani “Fazo” Ndlovu, Njabulo “Tshiki” Ncube, Hillary Madzivanyika, Tapiwa Dephistara and goalkeeper Njabulo “Popo” Nyoni.
Club chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede yesterday confirmed Maphosa had been released, but did not confirm the other six, only saying seven players had been released.
Maphosa, Madzivanyika, Ndlovu and Dephistara attended Tuesday’s training session while the other three were nowhere near Hartsfield Rugby Ground.
“The coach has decided which players he will retain,” said Gumede.
“The club had a review of the performance of the team last year based on a report that was given to the executive committee. A list of players who would be released and those that we would not was drawn up.
“The list was handed over to the human resources committee. However, since a new coach was coming this was given what I would say was an abeyance, meaning that matter was not pursued. He (Mafu) has drawn up his own list of players that he thinks will not fit in his plans.”
Gumede added: “That falls into three categories and that is; disciplinary — in the case of Mthulisi Maphosa, who has a case with the courts for which he was ordered to perform community service and players whose contracts have expired, and those that do not fit in the coach’s plans. I don’t have the file here with me with the other players.”
Maphosa was convicted for assaulting Bongani Rabvu and Amanda Mbuisa last October. He escaped a four-month jail term, but was ordered to perform 75 hours of community service and fined $50 in October last year.
The source insisted Maphosa is leaving Bosso with Ngodzo, Ncube, Madzivanyika, Ndlovu, Dephistara, and Nyoni.
Although Ngodzo had some issues of indiscipline, he signed a one-year contract with Bosso last year in January, which ended on December 31.
Ncube, who was also found wanting in terms of discipline following his return from FC Platinum, was registered by Bosso in mid-season last year.
Madzivanyika’s contract expired on December 31 and it appears the dreadlocked midfielder, who joined Highlanders from Botswana, is not in Mafu’s plans.
The same goes for Dephistara, who signed a two-year contract with Bosso mid-season last year from Chiredzi.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League 2014 Golden Boot joint winner Charles Sibanda, who had disciplinary issues last season, appears to have won Mafu’s favour and although his contract expired on December 31, the club is still talking to him.
Sibanda, who has reportedly been wanted by some clubs in South Africa, did not attend training on Monday and Tuesday, but resurfaced yesterday.
Douglas Sibanda, who was on loan to relegated Shabanie Mine, was also at training yesterday together with Lewis Ncube, Arnold Ndiweni, Liberty Chirava and Julius Daudi.
Goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya and left-back Bruce Kangwa are said to be in South Africa on personal business, while Ariel Sibanda also started training yesterday.