Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
AT a time when most locally-based players dream of moving to South Africa in search of greener pastures, striker Rodi Sibanda actually made the opposite move, leaving Orlando Pirates to join Highlanders.
And the 21-year-old striker is convinced that the move back home has improved his career.
Sibanda started his career at Bidvest Wits Academy before moving to Pirates where he played for their juniors up to the reserve side before being released by the Buccaneers in 2019 and joining Bosso.
Although Sibanda is still struggling to hold down a starting place in the Bosso team, he is patiently waiting for an opportunity to “show” his potential.
He is competing for a starting place against Lynoth Chikuhwa and Washington Navaya, who have been the preferred starters in the Chibuku Super Cup.
Despite being reduced to a benchwarmer, Sibanda is optimistic that his chance will come and it could on Sunday when Highlanders take on Bulawayo City in a Chibuku Super Cup match at Barbourfields Stadium.
“I was playing in the reserve league at Pirates and now I’m at the top level here at Highlanders. Everyone is working hard at the club; we’ve got healthy competition and I’m waiting for the right opportunity to play when the chance comes.
“Coming to Highlanders is not a backward move. In South Africa I wasn’t a professional footballer and joining Highlanders was more of growth for me. I’m glad I joined a big club like Highlanders because there’s a lot that I’ve learnt and developed here as a player. You need pressure as a player and there’s no better place to get it than playing for a club like Highlanders,” said Sibanda.
His sentiments on Bosso being a competitive side were echoed by former Young Warriors player Bukhosi ‘Zakhu’ Sibanda, who said they miss fans in the stadium to help them improve their game.
“We have a good squad and whoever comes in has to perform. If given a chance, you must show that you deserve it and be in a position to utilise that chance,” Bukhosi said.
“You know, we would love to have the 12th man because when we are backed by fans, we are more dangerous.
However, there have been positives playing without fans in the sense that we’ve had to continue working hard trying to make it in their absence.”
There’s a likelihood of Highlanders giving some of their bench warmers an opportunity against City. — @ZililoR