BULAWAYO – Mamelodi Sundowns technical director Trott Moloto yesterday warned Highlanders not to expect a friendly encounter when the wealthy South Africans clash with the Bulawayo giants month-end.
Sundowns, who will be touring Zimbabwe for three friendly matches, will play Bosso first at Barbourfields Stadium on January 30.
“We will not show any friendliness on the pitch Mr (Peter) Dube,” Moloto pointed out to the Bosso chairperson during a media session at the Highlanders offices.
“We are going to be highly competitive so as to adequately prepare ourselves going forward.
“Sundowns is a very ambitious club and we will be involved in the Nedbank Cup whose winner gets to represent South Africa in the Confederations Cup and for us to compete in Africa we have to get used to playing tough competitive clubs. We know that Highlanders, CAPS United and Dynamos have been involved in Africa in the past and for us to be among the best we have to test ourselves against the best.”
Moloto and fellow Sundowns official Harrison Chuene visited the match venue and Luveve Stadium, which will be used as a training ground.
Chuene said Sundowns’ visit will provide an opportunity for the team to show their appreciation for all the Zimbabwean talent they have benefitted from over the years.
He said: “Our visit here is long overdue if you look at the history of Sundowns and Zimbabwean players, it goes a long way. We currently have the likes of Esrom Nyandoro and others in our books but our relationship stretches way back to the days of Alexander Maseko, Nelson Bandura and more recently Peter Ndlovu.”
Highlanders boss Dube said they were considering organising road shows to sell the game to the public and ensure a full house at Barbourfields.
Meanwhile, Moloto admitted that Sundowns would use their trip to Zimbabwe as an opportunity to reinforce their team.
“You guys (the media) may not know it but we have been here before to watch Highlanders in action and while I cannot name the particular player involved, lest we put pressure on him, I have to say that we have heard rumours that there is a special player at the club,” Moloto said.
“Our coach (Pitso Mosimane) has made it clear that he wants some reinforcements and we are always on the lookout for quality players so there are chances that we may recruit some players.”
Sundowns will play CAPS at Rufaro Stadium on February 1 in their second game of their Zimbabwe tour before squaring off against Castle Premiership champions Dynamos at the same venue two days later. – Sakheleni Nxumalo