HIGHLANDERS have received a timely boost ahead of the start of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League after getting the reverse international transfer certificate for midfielder Bukhosi Sibanda from the South Africa Football Association.
However, the Bulawayo giants are yet to secure the same documentation for striker Prince Dube, who rejoined Highlanders last October from South Africa’s SuperSport United.
Sibanda also signed for Highlanders in October following an unsuccessful stint with lower tier side Ubuntu Cape Town.
Highlanders are yet to get clearance for midfielder Nqobizitha Masuku and a work permit for Zambian striker Peter Nyirenda, who arrived in the country in January.
Masuku rejoined Highlanders in December from Zambian side Buildcon after another stint with champions FC Platinum and the Bulawayo giants only have a few days to secure papers for the three players as the transfer window closes on March 31, with the league starting at the weekend.
Highlanders chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube yesterday confirmed all was in order for Sibanda, who has not kicked the ball in pre-season after he suffered an arm injury in January and was by last week still awaiting clearance from the medical team to join the rest of the squad for full training.
“Bukhosi has received his clearance from South Africa, but we are working flat out to get the papers for Prince, Nqobizitha and Nyirenda. It’s work in progress and we are hoping that during the week, everything will be sorted. Their papers are in the systems and they have been registered as Highlanders players,” Dube said.
Masuku played in a friendly match against Chapungu at Barbourfields Stadium on Saturday which ended in a 1-1 draw and the Bulawayo giants had most of their senior players in action save for Dube and defender Mbongeni Ndlovu who are on national duty with the Young Warriors.
After the match on Saturday, assistant coach Bekithemba Ndlovu, who feared for his players’ fitness levels following a three-week strike that almost paralysed the squad, said he was impressed by the players’ performance.
It was their last practice game before the league starts.
“It was an improved performance since we played our last game. We had a number of positives from the game, ball possession and circulation was good and the transition has improved. I am also happy with the fitness levels; we are not yet there, but there is a lot of improvement,” Ndlovu said.
Source : NewsDay