BULAWAYO – Bulawayo giants Highlanders will be banking on their new found versatility when they play their arch rivals Dynamos at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday.
Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu’s strategy to shuffle his players and play them in different positions has of late made it difficult for the opposition to plan against the log leaders.
And in an interview earlier in the week, Kaindu acknowledged that having versatile players at his disposal is working wonders for his team.
“It’s a good thing when you have players that can play in different positions in your team as that makes it easy adjust and adapt to the demands of a particular match,” Kaindu said.
It is in the midfield that Bosso have been most flexible.
The likes of Maphosa, Hillary Madzivanyika and Simon Munawa have alternated between defensive and attacking roles.
Munawa in particular is the most shunted about player in the Highlanders squad as he has had to play as a right back, a holding midfielder and in a more offensive position behind the strikers.
This adaptability could give Bosso the edge as the Dynamos midfield has not been the same since the suspension of Devon Chafa, whose combination with Tawanda Muparati was invincible.
Zambian coach Kaindu has also seen his teams’ fortunes improve significantly ever since he adopted a rotational selection policy.
Save for the backline that has goalkeeper Munyaradzi Diya, fullbacks Eric Mudzingwa and Bruce Kangwa and central defenders Innocent Mapuranga and Dumisani Fazo Ndlovu, no player is now assured of a starting berth at Highlanders.
This new selection policy has seen the players lifting their game as they strive to command a regular starting berth.
Former Bulawayo Province coach Gift ‘Ghetto’ Nkala, believes Kaindu’s mission has also been helped by the form of battle-hardened veterans Mthulisi Maphosa and Njabulo Ncube.
“Tshiki (Ncube) and Magwaza (Maphosa) have been instrumental in Highlanders’ fortunes in their last few matches and their experience has been crucial in the team’s recent fine run.
“These two have been able to grab a match by the scruff of the neck when the need arose and that has made a lot of difference in the team’s fortunes,” Nkala said.
Maphosa has of late proven to be very effective when used as an impact player and Bosso’s victory over Buffaloes in the Mbada Diamonds Cup and their most recent win in the league, a 3-0 victory over Black Rhinos, came about after he had been thrown into the fray.
Ncube on the other hand, is being lauded for his shielding ability that has seen the bulky striker creating chances for his teammates and yet a few months ago the same style of play had made him the butt of many jokes from disgruntled fans when the goals were not coming for Bosso.