Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS’ coach Erol Akbay has implored the club executive to expedite the signing of striker, Roderick Mutuma, saying failure to do so would be a blow to the technical team’s plans and a huge loss to the club.
“I hope an agreement is reached soon because if he goes away, it will be a huge blow to the club and our plans as the technical team. We must go for him at all costs,” said Akbay, who added that Mutuma will fit into his high tempo style of play.
His appeal follows reports that cash flush Zvishavane side FC Platinum have been monitoring developments since the player arrived in Bulawayo to begin negotiations with the Bulawayo giants, whose executive has been sharply divided over whether or not to sign the talented but wayward striker. Mutuma would be coming at no cost to Bosso, since an unnamed benefactor offered to pay his signing on fees.
Mutuma has been training with Highlanders since Tuesday, but last night his handlers were not sure whether to allow him to continue training with the Bulawayo giants.
Highlanders’ acting chairman Modern Ngwenya last night said the executive would be meeting the technical team to discuss the issue.
“The coaches have given us their position on the player, but we will meet them again tomorrow morning and then map the way forward. It’s promising though,” said Ngwenya.
Some senior Highlanders players and former stars also waded into Mutuma issue, hitting out at the club’s leadership for seemingly dragging their feet in signing the striker.
The players said the club’s leadership must rise and put Highlanders above petty personal differences.
“We wonder what is driving them to take so long to bring Mutuma to Highlanders. He is a proven hitman who can bring smiles to our supporters. He knows his employment brief which is to score goals. We want the executive to quickly sign this guy,” said one senior player.
Another senior player said the strike force of Prince Dube and Nhlanhla Ndlovu, while a future force to reckon with, is still teething and needs someone to guide them, and while a fit Ralph Matema can do the job, age was no longer on his side and forcing him to play 90 minutes would be asking for too much.
“Look, as players we all know what Roderick can do, where he is coming from is none of our business and in terms of his behaviour, kukuBosso la bro ( this is Bosso brother). Those who don’t want him must assure us that they will leave the office and put on football boots because this is clearly no longer about football; why they can’t sign him is something else,” said the player.
A former Highlanders defender echoed the senior players’ call for the executive to sign Mutuma, adding that they must rise above petty club politics.
“Why would any sane minded person not sign him, especially now that the club has failed to bring in strikers like Gift Mbweti and Francesco Zekumbawire? It will be suicidal if they let this guy go,” said the former player.