Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
INCOME generated by Bosso 90 in the last three seasons compared to the number of players it fed the Highlanders senior team influenced the club’s decision to keep the First Division franchise, Chronicle Sport has learnt.
Highlanders’ chairman Kenneth Mhlophe told our sister paper Sunday News that his executive will maintain the Division One League slot, defying concerns raised by members at the club’s general meeting in January to move the team to the Zifa Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Division Two League.
Sources said in the last three seasons, Bosso 90 raised substantial amounts by playing in invitational competitions, which include the Independence Cup, a tour to Botswana in 2017 and last year’s Anti-Sanctions Cup.
According to the club’s accounts, Highlanders used about $56 000 to bankroll Bosso 90 league games, with the developmental side contributing $150 000 from participation in the Anti-Sanctions Cup.
“The general feeling was that it will not be fair to say Bosso 90 has failed and gobbled lots of money when they generated double the amount that they spent for the season. Some of the money they made even went on to help the first team, discarding the argument that they should not play in Division One because of finances,” said the source.
“The promotion of players is dependant on the coach. Madinda Ndlovu was a firm believer in home grown talent, but this one (Mark Harrison) has a different idea. If you look at those Bosso 90 boys, they held their own against Dynamos in that Anti-Sanctions Cup, meaning they’re not far off. Imagine if we’re to play in Division Two; do you think Bosso 90 will be prepared to compete against some of the best teams at invitational competitions?”
At the AGM, life member and former radio personality Ezra Sibanda questioned the wisdom of keeping Bosso 90 when it wasn’t producing players for the first team. Mhlophe responded by seeking permission to take the team to the third tier and place an age cap in the team.
Muziwethu Dlamini and defender Cardwell Gavaza have been promoted into the senior team in the Premier Soccer League from Bosso 90.
All players over the age of 20 have since stopped attending training as Bosso 90’s focus is now on Under-20 players.