Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS will not be holding any pre-season trials for the first time in years after deciding to rely on players from their junior structures.
Bosso, now under their legendary former player Madinda Ndlovu and Mandla Mpofu, are believed to have promoted about 11 players from the Under-18s and the developmental side Bosso 90, while four senior players, including the long serving Erick “Tsiba” Mudzingwa were chopped. Other senior players that were shown the exit door include Simon Munawa, Tendai Ngulube and Ralph Matema, while pint-sized King Nadolo packed his bags for South African National First Division side Witbank Spurs.
“They have a process of player identification and assessment, which does not have trials. Remember you have a whole developmental side and the Under-18s. Any player coming through for assessment is looked at in a structured way,” said Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube.
He said the team would be holding its early pre-season preparations in a secret location, but the new squad would be unveiled to the public sometime next week.
“We are keeping the team away from the public for now, but next week it will be possible because there will be guest speakers,” said Dube.
The Bulawayo giants are on a massive rebuilding exercise after taking a deliberate move to resort to their junior structures in a bid to recapture their lost glory, which has seen them going for more than a decade without lifting the league title.
The majority of the 2006 squad that last lifted the league title was made up of players that came through the junior structures and played many games together resulting in mutual and proper bonding, as they understood each other and what it meant to don the black and white jersey.