Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
NEWLY appointed Highlanders coach Madinda “Khathazile” Ndlovu says there is no need to fear the unknown by not giving youngsters a chance to shine instead of recycling old horses who have had their time on the field of play.
The legend was responding to queries at a press conference at the club office on Thursday on why he let go one of the longest serving Highlanders players in recent memory Erick “Tsiba” Mudzingwa, who turns 32 today.
Bosso members, during the club’s annual general meeting at the club house last Sunday demanded to know why Mudzingwa was not part of the squad based on his loyalty, having been part of the black and white family for a record 17 years, starting from the Under 14s until he graduated into the senior team.
Ndlovu said Mudzingwa was a player like any other and as such he will not be swayed to bring him on at the expense of young and talented players who are eager to make a name for themselves. He said he was not expecting to make everyone happy with his choice, neither was he expecting everyone to be angry but he had a job to do, noting that some will appreciate what he does while also cognisant of the fact that others will not.
“We are not going to achieve anything if we go by people that have their team already out there and are not training it, we have a job to do. We have got to identify which players should play for Highlanders and therefore that’s a mammoth task. I am not expecting to make everyone happy, nor am I expecting to make everyone angry but there will be balance. Some will appreciate what I do while some will not appreciate what I do, that’s the nature of the job but really let us look at it from this angle, I played for this club, together with my two younger brothers, I stopped playing, they remained playing, hawu bakithi sekumele abantu bethi hayi ngoba ngabakoNdlovu akumelanga ukuthi bephume?
“Too many youngsters want to play football and they want to play for Highlanders and if you are going to keep on recycling, you are not going anywhere.
Let us not fear the unknown, let us open our hands for these youngsters who are talented, they also want to be the next Madindas, the next Peters (Ndlovu) and there should be somebody who gives them that chance to do so,” said Ndlovu.
He said if he introduced Mudzingwa to first team football 10 years ago, he does not see any logic why he should be questioned, 10 years later, on his decision to let him go.
“Erick is a player like any other player, why in particular Erick? If 10 years ago I gave Erick a chance to play in the first team why should I be asked now 10 years later why he is not in the team, it doesn’t make sense to me. Everything has got a lifespan. How old is Erick now? If I then introduced him in the team when he was 22 years at Highlanders why should someone really ask now what is wrong with Erick? What is wrong with Madinda? I played for Highlanders, why am I not playing?” asked Ndlovu rhetorically.
Mudzingwa has since found a new home at Bulawayo City and is on record as saying he had no hard feelings at being offloaded by his childhood team.
Chronicle Sport has it on good authority that the club is planning to have a testimonial match for him in honour of his loyal service to the institution.
Article Source: The Chronicle