BULAWAYO – Bulawayo giants Highlanders yesterday ended months of speculation by confirming the reappointment of Madinda Ndlovu as the new head coach ahead of the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season.
Ndlovu returns to Bosso for a second spell, having guided the Bulawayo giants in 2009 before leaving the club unceremoniously the same year following a string of poor results.
He replaces Dutch gaffer Erol Akbay, who announced he would not be renewing his contract and swiftly returned to his native home after spending two years at the club.
Akbay arrived at Highlanders at the start of the 2016 season and made a huge impact leading Bosso to a commendable third place finish following an intriguing battle for the championship that involved FC Platinum and eventual winners CAPS United.
That good run had raised high expectations that 2017 season could be their year. But it turned out to be the season they want to quickly forget as Akbay’s run-ins with the club executive over outstanding salaries and bonuses impacted heavily on the team’s performance.
Yesterday, Highlanders chief executive Nhlanhla Dube confirmed Ndlovu as the man they believe should guide the club back to its glory days having last won the title over a decade ago under the guidance of former player Methembe Ndlovu.
Ndlovu has been coaching in Botswana in recent years where he won three back-to-back league titles with Mochudi Centre Chiefs (2011/12 and 2012/13) and Township Rollers (2013-14).
He also had a stint with Orapa United and guided them to a 2016 Mascom Top 8 triumph.
According to Dube, Ndlovu will be assisted by Mandla Mpofu and Melusi Sibanda while Vezigama Dlodlo is coming in as the welfare manager.
Mpofu is joining Bosso after spending last season as Bulawayo City coach where he guided them to safety right on the last day of the season while Sibanda was coaching Bosso’s junior side in the Zifa Southern Region Division One.
The Bosso chief executive said the goalkeepers’ coach will be announced in due course but sources close to the club revealed the club is interested in bringing back Tembo Tshuma, who has a running contract with How Mine.
Bosso, sources said, are currently in negotiations with How Mine to reach an agreement that could see Tshuma back at Highlanders.
Tundu Dube has been appointed the Bosso development side’s manager while Melusi Sibanda will also double up as the team’s coach with Gift Lunga his assistant.
As for the juniors — that is the Under-18, 16 and 14, — Bosso have settled for Gift Lunga, Siza Khoza and Daniel Ngwenya respectively.
Dube said the technical manager and his staff have commenced the process of player selection adding that the list of the 2018 senior squad will be announced in due course.