Fungai Muderere, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Highlanders’ trio of veteran goalkeeper and captain Ariel Sibanda, defence stalwart Peter Muduhwa and midfielder Ray Lunga have extended their contracts with Bosso ahead of the 2021 season.
Zifa last week hinted that the Premier Soccer League season could start in March next year after asking how many teams could resume full-blown training next month, although no clear format has been unveiled since the abandonment of a two-week mini-league plan that had been proposed for this month by the football chiefs.
Sibanda, Muduhwa and Lunga’s existing contracts with Bosso were set to expire on December 31, but a well-placed source told Chronicle Sport that the three had signed on the dotted line at the end of last week to extend their stay.
The source said Muduhwa had extended his contract by a year, while the length of Lunga and Sibanda’s extensions could not be immediately ascertained.
Highlanders’ chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube was not keen to discuss the trio’s contract issue, but indicated that they are working tirelessly to retain most of their key players ahead of preparations for the 2021 season.
“We are presently working on our 2021 squad and at the moment I cannot mention individual or collective names of players that we have concluded or have not concluded deals with. We hope to be able to do so in the shortest possible space of time,” said Dube.
Bosso have already lost striker Michelle Katsvairo, who quit to join top Botswana side Township Rollers.
They also lost midfielder Brian Banda to rivals FC Platinum, Tinashe Makanda, who has reportedly signed for Dynamos, and sold Prince Dube to Tanzanian side Azam FC.
Muduhwa has been itching for a move to foreign lands and was a target of various PSL outfits, which include Chicken Inn and Caf Champions League campaigners FC Platinum.
The defender’s proposed move to Sudan collapsed early this year after facilitators were reportedly angered by discovering that he had an agent on the eve of his departure.
The Pumula-bred footie had been linked with a move to one of the top clubs in Sudan, Al-Merreikh, Al Hilal, Al Ahly Shendi and Al Khartoum SC.
As if Muduhwa’s failed move to Sudan was not enough, his two-week trial invitation by Mozambican topflight club UD do Songo also never materialised for unexplained reasons.
On the other hand, the pint-sized Lunga, nicknamed “Ndorindori”, Bulawayo street lingo for a small basic cellphone, carried the hopes of Bosso on his tiny shoulders last year with some dazzling performances and would be hoping to replicate them next season after a year of inactivity.
Lunga joins the club of the few small-sized players to have illuminated the local league after yesteryear dribbling wizard Boy Ndlovu, who featured for Eagles and Bosso in the 1980s and early 1990s, Max Ruza (Shabanie Mine), Chris Kawema (Zimbabwe Saints), Simon Sibanda (Highlanders), Murape Murape (Dynamos) and Lovemore Mapuya (Motor Action/Dynamos), among others.
Sibanda was voted the country’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 2019 and has been the inspiration behind Highlanders in the past few seasons with some breathtaking performances between the sticks.
He was named in the Warriors’ provisional Chan 34-member squad together with his Bosso teammates Muduhwa, holding midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku and young defender Andrew Mbeba. — @FungaiMuderere