Ricky Zililo Senior Sports Reporter
AFTER a string of goalkeeping errors, Highlanders have moved to solve the crisis by recalling ‘keeper Prosper Matutu from a loan spell at Southern Region League leaders Bulawayo Chiefs.
Highlanders’ poor goalkeeping has seen both Ariel Sibanda and Njabulo Nyoni conceding soft goals that have cost the Bulawayo giants crucial points, leaving them languishing ninth on the league table.
Some goalkeepers’ coaches have criticised Highlanders’ untidy goalkeeping and questioned trainer Peter Nkomo’s methods.
Sibanda and Nyoni have struggled to deal with crosses and the coaches felt the two were in a comfort zone as they were guaranteed of a place in the team in the absence of a third keeper to create competition.
Third keeper Takunda Mutanga, formerly with Bantu Rovers, went AWOL and Bosso seem to have given up on him by recalling Matutu to trigger competition for places.
“We’ve recalled goalkeeper Matutu who has been developing at Chiefs. His registration forms have been taken to Zifa and we hope to get his licence before the window closes,” said Highlanders chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede.
The mid-season transfer window closes at midnight tomorrow.
Bosso is also waiting for defender Peter Muduhwa’s licence. The utility player was also recalled from his Chiefs’ loan stint to bolster Bosso’s defence and midfield.
Bosso has promoted McCarthy Dube from their developmental side and are unlikely to make further additions.
Meanwhile, former national team goalkeeper Ephraim Mazarura has left Bantu Rovers to join an unnamed topflight Mozambican club.
Deemed as excess baggage at How Mine at the beginning of the season, Mazarura found a home at Bantu Rovers where he fortified the club’s technical team as the goalkeepers’ coach.
Tshintsha Guluva confirmed that Mazarura, who was part of the Warriors’ squad at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Tunisia, had left the club.
“Mazarura is no longer with us. He told us that he has found a new home in Mozambique and we wish him well. It was great working with him as he did a great job in coaching our first team goalkeepers Eddy Ndlovu, Trevor Matavi and Prince Phiri. He also held sessions with our junior teams,” said Bantu Rovers spokesman Wilbert Sibanda.
The former Black Rhinos goalkeeper boasts of experience gained from his Democratic Republic of Congo and Swaziland stints.
In Mozambique, Mazarura will link up with Zimbabwean players Evans Gwekwerere and Washington Phakamisa, who are based in Maputo.
Besides Mazarura, other high profile players that have moved in the mid-season transfer window are national team winger Evans Rusike, who joined South African Premiership side Maritzburg United from Hwange, and Ronald Pfumbidzai, who completed his Swedish move.
Gweru side Chapungu has reinforced its side with ex-Dynamos striker Patrick Khumbula and are promoting Charles Mativenga and Leeroy Bernard from their developmental side.
As reported by Chronicle Sport on July 22, Chicken Inn have released veteran striker Mkhokheli Dube and replaced him with Tambudzai Ngulube from Midlands State University.
The Gamecocks have also loaned out defender Frankson Bushiri to Shabanie Mine where they expect him to get some game time.
Ambitious How Mine have deregistered the league’s 2010 Soccer Star of the Year Charles Sibanda and leftback James Chitereki and filled their slots with Louis Matawu and Fungai Chirinda.
Sibanda broke his collar bone and ribs, and punctured his lungs in a car crash last month while Chitereki pulled a muscle. Both players have been ruled out for the remainder of the season.
How Mine have been monitoring ex-Dynamos midfielder Tawanda Muparati’s recovery since he resumed training three weeks ago after injury sidelined him from the first half of the season.
Relegation threatened Tsholotsho have released Young Warriors’ defensive midfielder Gerald Takwara to FC Platinum for an undisclosed fee.
The Zhwane boys have Butho Ncube and veteran Danisa Phiri, who can take up the anchorman’s role.