FORMER Dynamos striker, Roderick Mutuma inched close to clinching a deal with Highlanders, after coach Erol Akbay gave him the thumbs-up after just one training session with the Bulawayo football giants yesterday.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
Mutuma (28) could finally realise his dream of playing for Bosso, having been spurned by the then head coach, Mkhupali Masuku in 2011 during his time at Quelaton.
Akbay yesterday said that he would recommend, to the club management, signing the player, whom he believes will strengthen his side.
“I think he (Mutuma) can handle our high tempo type of football and I am going to recommend to the executive committee that we keep this guy,” he said.
The Dutchman has previously expressed the need to bring in a striker after Bosso lost Knox Mutizwa and Bruce Kangwa to the South African and Tanzanian leagues, respectively.
Highlanders acting chairman, Modern Ngwenya, who watched the first training session after the club returned from a tour of South Africa on Sunday, said they would be guided by the coach’s wishes.
“Discussions are still in progress with the player, who has shown interest in joining the club. We are in talks with his handlers, but we have not signed him. The coach (Akbay) has said he has heard about him and he is assessing him today (yesterday). We will stand guided by the coach’s recommendations,” he said.
Mutuma, who had a six-month stint with Caps United in 2015, before he quit the Green Machine to rejoin DeMbare, was offloaded by the Harare giants over disciplinary issues.
The striker has had more than his fair share of disciplinary problems, having been involved in training ground brawls with Murape Murape, who is now part of the Dynamos technical team, as well as former strike partner, Takesure Chinyama.
Mutuma’s disciplinary issues may be the biggest challenge that Akbay will have to contend with, but he knows he will have someone, who can give a good supply of goals and the much-needed experience in the Bosso forward line.
If he completes his move to Highlanders, he follows in the footsteps of Stephen Alimenda and Stewart Murisa, who played for Dynamos, Highlanders and Caps United.
The lanky forward had a stint with South African Premier Soccer League side, Bloemfontein Celtic in 2013 and 2014 before returning to Dynamos.
Highlanders had targeted former Hwange hitman, Gift Mbweti, but lack of funds dealt the proposed deal a blow, before FC Platinum snapped up the player.
Francisco Zekumbawira was under the Highlanders radar, but he has found a new home at ZPC Kariba, as Bosso struggle with lack of funds.
Also training with Highlanders are four players from First Mobile Sports Academy in Canada, Garry Bhullar (21), Gurvir Singh (21), Kurt Sheritt (22) and Junior Givanni de Fazio (20), who, Ngwenya said, are on a four-month attachment at Highlanders, but if any of them impresses Akbay, they would register them for the 2017 Premier Soccer League season.
First Mobile Sports Academy is run by Canada-based Zimbabwean coach, Isaac Mbedzi.