Highlanders man-of-the-moment — Makaruse Godfrey Makaruse

Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter

CURRENT Highlanders’ second longest serving member Godfrey Makaruse is enjoying a new lease of life playing as a left wingback under Portuguese coach Baltemar Brito.

Baltemar Jose De Oliveira Brito

Brito has converted Makaruse (25), who broke into the first team in 2014 from the club’s juniors, from an attacking left linkman to a wingback.

The coach made the tactical change of replacing left-back Mbongeni Ndlovu with Makaruse in his first game in charge of Bosso, which they won 3-2 over Black Rhinos.

Ndlovu was moved into central defence to partner Peter Muduhwa.

Against Black Rhinos, Makaruse put up a man-of-the-match performance and replicated that form on Sunday when Highlanders drew 1-1 against Ngezi Platinum Stars at Baobab Stadium.

Baobab Stadium

Makaruse grabbed Bosso’s equaliser in the 40th minute, cancelling Leslie Kashitigu’s fifth-minute goal for Ngezi.

It was Makaruse’s second goal of the season, with his first coming on May 1 when Highlanders drew 1-1 against Chicken Inn.

That was Makaruse’s first start in the 2021/22 championship.

Since then, Makaruse has been part of Highlanders’ starting line-up and the Ngezi clash was his seventh consecutive start.

What pleases Makaruse is that since finding his way into the starting line-up Highlanders haven’t lost a match.

They won three matches against Dynamos (3-0), Harare City (1-0) and Black Rhinos.

They drew four games against Chicken Inn, Bulawayo Chiefs (2-2), ZPC Kariba (0-0) and Ngezi.

“I’m enjoying my new role at left-back.

Converting into a left-back hasn’t been difficult because the coach (Brito) has given me freedom in that role.

Dropping to left-back has improved me as a player because it allows me to read the game from the back and should there be a need to overlap, I do so by calculating my moves.

“I’m still adapting to being a left-back and I think having seen my former teammate Bruce Kangwa play in that role after being converted from a left link to left-back, it has even made it easier.


I also watch international footballers, who are left-backs like Marcelo of Real Madrid and I think with more training, I can improve in my new role,” said Makaruse.

The underrated left-footed player dreams of playing outside the country.

“I believe if I keep working hard, use my strength I have to go up and down, then I can be a complete footballer and who knows, something good might happen.

It’s every footballer’s dream to play outside the country, but to do so, I have to be a consistent performer,” Makaruse said.

The Makokoba-bred footie believes better days are coming for Highlanders and that despite being 13 points adrift of leaders FC Platinum, who are on 40 points after 19 games, they will finish in the top four.

“If you look at morale in camp, the work rate that the guys are putting at training and how they are adapting to the coach’s philosophy, I believe we are slowly getting to a point where we can sense good times.

The guys are motivated and ready to fight, which is healthy for a team.

I think if we maintain self-belief, keep working hard and adapt quickly to the coach’s style, we will start getting good results and move up the table,” said Makaruse. — @ZililoR

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