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BONGANI Mafu, the new Highlanders coach, is excited and confident after taking over the reins of one of the biggest football institutions in Zimbabwe and has declared his intention to give young players the chance to don the famous black and white jersey.

Mafu was appointed to the helm of the Bosso dressing room this week with a mandate to try and bring back the glory days at the Bulawayo giants.

But the former Zimbabwe Saints coach said his priority was to bring back the Highlanders culture by building from the juniors in a bid to establish a g base that would constantly win silverware.

“I am coming into an institution with a number of players playing in the lower leagues. I want to give them the trust and am confident they will be at the club for more than five years and can even make it to the national team.”

“I have embarked on a tricky journey because even if my team will be made of young players, Bosso will need results and if I fail to bring results I can get fired after three months,” said Mafu.

“I understand that my club has no money to go into the market unlike the previous years. Bosso want results and if I get the chance to have one of the best players who is respected that is the only time I can go on the market.”

The 49-year-old coach, who is a g Arsenal supporter, said his task was very challenging compared to Arsene Wenger’s, the Gunners coach.

“Wenger is relaxed and has no pressure and can go on the market if he wishes. My club has no money, but I am going to have to bring results. I am just appealing to the fans to come in numbers and watch Bosso in action next season.”

Mafu has already chosen his assistants, but is yet to present them to the club executive. According to the Highlanders constitution, the executive has the mandate to choose assistant coaches, although Mafu has been given an opportunity to influence the choice of his backroom staff.

Bantu Rovers’ Mandla Mpofu has been touted as one of the possible names for assistant coach, while Tembo Chuma looks set to bounce back as the goalkeepers’ coach. Chuma was last season working at Premiership runners-up ZPC Kariba where he is credited with helping Tendai Hove to have a memorable season in which he was voted the Soccer Star of the Year First Runner-up.

It is not yet clear whether there will be a place for Mark Mathe in the new set up.

Mathe was the interim Bosso coach following the departure of Zambian Kelvin Kaindu and the tall coach later had veteran Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu as his technical aisor, with club legend Willard Mashinkila Khumalo operating as the team manager and Peter Nkomo the goalkeepers coach.

Mafu seems to be also aware of the existence of internal politics at Highlanders that also contributed to Kaindu’s departure.

Former Bosso players Bekithemba Ndlovu, Amin Soma Phiri, Dazzy Kapenya and Dumaza Dube are among the names that have also been linked with the roles of the backroom staff. Mafu also insisted that he would not focus on trying to overturn Dynamos’ dominance over Bosso, but taking aim at the league title.

“I will not spend my life discussing about one team, but I respect all the teams. If it’s all about beating them, then a league comprising only of two teams should be formed.

“If I work hard and deliver I know I will get a long contract. My focus now is on bringing results at Highlanders and I urge all the fans, including you guys from the media, to come and enjoy football when Bosso is playing,’ said Mafu, who sounded very confident.

Source : The Herald

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