‘We lacked depth’: Luphahla Joel Luphahla

Innocent Kurira, [email protected]

HIGHLANDERS FC assistant coach Joel Luphahla said lack of depth resulted in Bosso train going off the rails mid-way into the campaign.

After a decent start which saw the Bulawayo giants enjoying a 19-game unbeaten run, things took a turn for the worst on match day 20 when they lost to FC Platinum in Zvishavane.

The loss allowed Ngezi Platinum Stars to narrow the gap by two points and move in to eventually dislodge Highlanders.

Highlanders was toppled from the summit of the log standings by Ngezi Platinum after a two nil defeat to Chicken Inn at Barbourfields Stadium.

Bosso had loosened their hold and Madamburo took over.

In the end, Bosso finished the league in position five with 14 wins, 13 draws and seven losses.

Their points tally of 55 points is however better than last season’s when they finished on the same position but with 51 points.

Speaking after the last game of the season which they won 1-0 against champions Ngezi Platinum, Luphahla made reference to some of the short comings they encountered.

“At the beginning of the season no one would have given us a chance. Even when I was reading through the newspapers, we were dubbed as the first coaches that will be sacked.

To go for 19 games unbeaten was a plus for us. “We had players that suffered injuries and one of our best players Devine Mhindirira was out. All this factored into how we faltered later,” said Luphahla.

Bosso were indeed unlucky with injuries.

Godfrey Makaruse and Darlington Mukuli suffered injuries that ruled them out for the season.

Mhindirira was also another key player who saw little action, having first hit by a toe problem then a knee injury. Forward Calvin Chigonero was in and out of the team, also owing to injury.

Luphahla heaped praise on the yougsters in the team whom he said had shown brightly in the closing stages of the season.

“If you look at Ngezi Platinum, when they make a substitution their football does not go down meaning they have a better squad compared to us,” said Luphahla.

“We saw against Ngezi Platinum that Talent Dube and Prince Ndlovu played well. Gillian Nyathi is one of the best players in the team right now and these are all from Bosso 90.

We are hoping the young boys and the return of the players who are injured, will help us have a strong team,” said Luphahla.

The only time Highlanders came close to assembling a competitive side since winning the 2006 championship was during the Kelvin Kaindu era when they twice lost the title to archrivals Dynamos on goal difference.

In 2012, Bosso went on a 23-game unbeaten run under Kaindu but could still not win the league. — innocentskizoe

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