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Highlanders’ ambitious coach eyes first PSL title since 2006

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  • The Bosso coach said he aims to build around returning midfielder Joel Ngodzo, who was the 2019 Soccer Star of the Year award winner.

HIGHLANDERS coach Mandla Mpofu has backed his team to compete for top honours in Zimbabwe after the recent return of domestic football.

Highlanders lost 2-0 at the hands of old rivals Dynamos in the President’s Independence Trophy last weekend, a match which marked the return of competitive action after more than a year of inactivity.

Mpofu told The Herald that his team is “going to compete” as they look to claim a first Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League title since 2006.

The Bosso coach said he aims to build around returning midfielder Joel Ngodzo, who was the 2019 Soccer Star of the Year award winner.

“I was very happy with the performance but, of course, not the result,” said Mpofu. “Remember this was our first week. We are going to work on our pre-season and our tactics. I have a feeling that this team is going to compete.

“This team that we are building, if it gets fitter and fitter, it’s going to be unbelievable. We are going there to compete because I think it’s a formidable team that has experienced players.”

Mpofu explained that having a continuity of players through the last three years has allowed them to raise their level of performance.

“The first team that played is the team that we had from 2018. We had only three new faces in the first 11. So, it’s about continuity,” stated the coach.

“Even when we got the other new guys in the second half I was much impressed by Josta, he came in and gave us another dimension.

“I could have played him first but I was really cautious because of his fitness levels. He trained for two days. So, I said to myself ‘this is not the World Cup’.

“There are so many important games to play so let me just reserve him to play 15-20 minutes. But, Josta is unbelievable. I am going to build this team around him. He is just a talented young man.”

The Zimbabwe PSL is set to be played in a mini-tournament format which will see the 18 participating teams being placed in four groups of the competition to be hosted in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Zvishavane, starting from next month. ■

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