By Mthokozisi Dube
ALTHOUGH the first half of the season is now water under the bridge Bulawayo giants Highlanders have embarked on a soul searching exercise after collecting just 20 points from 17 outings.
Bulawayo giants Highlanders have become a pale shadow of the team that dominated local football at the turn of the millennium with their last league title coming in 2006.
To put things in the correct perspective, Bosso have endured 16-years barren spell, a period during which their bitter rivals Dynamos won 5 league titles, FC Platinum 3 with Chicken Inn and CAPS united getting one apiece.
The Likes of the now defunct Monomotapa, Gunners and Motor Action also left with leagues titles while Highlanders fans watched in agony.
The excuse of poor financial backing has been put to rest with Highlanders and Dynamos attracting corporate sponsorship going into the 2022 season.
The financial muscle came as morale booster to the players with the then Highlanders coach, Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu declaring that they wanted to make Barbourfields a fortress.
That has remained a pipe dream and nothing suggests that Bosso will turn things around after a poor first half of the season in which they collected a paltry 20 points out of a possible 41.
Highlanders are on an unfamiliar 10th position, fifteen adrift of log leaders and local rivals Chicken Inn.
Mpofu has since paid the price for the poor results and the fans’ hopes have been pinned on new Coach Baltemer Jose De Oliveira Brito.
After watching their last match from the terraces, Brito’s charm may have signaled a new path as Highlanders went on to grind three points against Harare city courtesy of an Ariel Sibanda penalty.
The 70-year-old Portuguese, who is not fluent in English, says he is the messiah.
“I have an assistant who is conversant in English so the issue of language will not matter besides football is a universal language. We are not familiar with the league but we will utilize the time to watch the videos and identify what needs to be done because we want the club up there,” said Brito.
Whether Brito will turn things around or not is anyone’s guess but what remains a fact is that Highlanders are closer to bottom placed Whawha than log leaders Chicken Inn.
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