Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
HIGHLANDERS coach Baltermar Brito has defended his decision to deploy some players out of position, arguing that he plays players in positions where they have potential to thrive and make the team better.
Since taking over, Brito has made a number of changes not only with the type of play, but the positioning of players on the pitch as well.
The coach has often assigned midfielders Rahman Kutsanzira and Godfrey Makaruse at right wingback and left wingback, respectively.
Left back Mbongeni Ndlovu has been drafted to play at centre back under Brito.
On Sunday, following the injury to Ndlovu, utility player Pritchard Mphelele was drafted in to partner Peter Mudhuwa at the heart of defence.
Silla is another player that has a new role under Brito.
When Bosso are in attack, Silla drops more into the left-back role with Godfrey Makaruse probing forward.
Though Makaruse has thrived in the role, the system doesn’t seem to bring out the best of Silla though the team has benefited from it.
“When we give a player a role, sometimes we are thinking respecting the characteristics that they can fit that position.
You might say Silla is not playing in his natural position but when we got here Makaruse was a winger and now he is one of the best left backs in the country.
Sometimes we take risks and sometimes say what can this kind of player give us and improve the team.
“When we arrived here we did some adaptations which saw other players playing in different positions . When we try to give a player a different position it is because we believe in their capabilities in that role,” said Brito.
The Portuguese coach has been in charge of six games, winning three – Black Rhinos 3-2, Manica Diamonds 3-0 and Bulawayo City 1-0, drawing 1-1 against Ngezi Platinum Stars and Tenax 0-0 while losing 2-1 to Whawha in the process.
Save for the uninspiring display in the 1-0 victory against Bulawayo City and most recently against Tenax, all the other shows that Bosso exhibited were entertaining with the side displaying impressive passing football centred on playing the ball out from the back and making patient build-ups.
Brito has won the hearts of many by giving youngsters a chance.
Some of the youngsters in Highlanders’ senior team who are expected to feature prominently in the remaining matches include striker Mthabisi Mabobo Ncube (18), goalkeeper Raphael Pitisi who turns 20 in October, defender Andrew Mbeba (22) and midfield genius Divine Mhindirira (22).
Defensive midfielder Darlington Mukuli (22), promoted into the senior team in March this year alongside Archiford Faira (21), both products of Bosso 90, have been given opportunities.