Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS are banking on Prince Dube and former Young Warriors striker Bukhosi Sibanda to solve their goal scoring problems next season.
The two players who have been training with Highlanders for over a month after failed stints in South Africa, fit well into the club’s rebuilding exercise, whose focus is on youngsters. Both players are 21 years old, with Sibanda turning 22 in January and Dube a month later.
The duo were in South Africa for a year, with Dube opting out of SuperSport United two years before his deal expired to resuscitate his career while Sibanda, better known as Zakhu in football circles, walked out on Cape Town-based First Division club Ubuntu.
On Tuesday, Chronicle Sport watched Highlanders’ training session at the Barbourfields Stadium outside grounds and the pair exhibited some breathtaking moves.
They were seemingly happy with their Bosso teammates and looked to have settled in well.
Highlanders are keeping mum on how negotiations with the duo’s representatives are proceeding.
Last month Bosso launched a crowd-funding initiative under the #buyPrinceDube, making it known that they had agreed terms with Dube, who is also on FC Platinum’s Caf Champions League wish list, and what is left is for Highlanders to pay the player’s sign-on fee.
Bosso are reportedly making inroads with Sibanda’s handlers to get the player on board.
Highlanders’ chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube said: “We are in conversation with the technical team around the forward planning in areas that they have got gaps. We should look at our conversion rate and this is one thing they have spoken about. They have said our rate hasn’t been as high as they would have needed it to be for us to be able to be higher up the Premiership ladder.
“We have conceded 21 goals and scored 27. We obviously should have been much better if our conversion rate was higher, but it’s also because the various options that we have been working on are probably yet to develop to the level that they want in terms of attacking options. They will be looking at that in order to find out whether we need to look beyond Dube and Sibanda.”
Should Highlanders secure Dube and Sibanda, they will compete for places with Tafadzwa Sibanda and Tinashe Makanda, who joined Bosso during the mid-season transfer window. Tafadzwa has been a regular feature for Bosso while Makanda picked up an injury on his debut.
Highlanders also want to conclude the signing before the end of the year so that they begin pre-season without hassles.
“Of course we are going towards the end of the season and we want to be able to do our business of the additions of the squad before the new season.
“There is a whole issue of pre-season planning and training and we want the squad to be almost set by the end of the season so that we send everyone away for holiday knowing when they will be back,” said Dube. — @ZililoR