Highlanders lack depth: Nyoni

Sikhumbuzo Moyo Senior Sports Reporter
DECORATED former Highlanders tough left back Dumisani Nyoni has challenged present day Bosso players to do a self introspection. He said they need to ask themselves whether they are worth donning a Highlanders jersey. Nyoni, nicknamed Savimbi because of his no-nonsense but well calculated tackles, was reacting to a strange decision by the Highlanders technical team led by Kelvin Kaindu who brought in goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda as an in field player for striker Ozias Zibande deep into added time during the quarter-finals of the One Wallet Cup.

The match was played at the poorly surfaced Ascot Stadium in Gweru on Saturday and the Bulawayo giants fell 4-3 on penalty shootouts after the match had ended 1-1 in regulation time.

Savimbi believes there are a lot of “passengers” in the team to an extent that the coaches probably struggle to make a choice on who they should bring on to change the complexion of the game hence their decision to throw in goalkeeper Sibanda on Saturday.
Highlanders lack depth: Nyoni
As a goalkeeper Sibanda’s role is to defend, ensure the opponents do not score while Zibande and the other 10 players’ role is to score. That a substitute goalkeeper could be preferred ahead of in field players supports Nyoni’s argument that most of the players are just not first team material.

“As an in field player on the bench I have to ask myself whether I am worth to be part of the black and white system if a goalkeeper can come in my place. This is probably why we no longer get positive results at Bosso,” said Nyoni who won a lot of silverware in his illustrious career with Bosso.

Nyoni was part of the great machine that won the BAT Rosebowl, Chibuku Trophy, Rothmans Shield, Heroes Cup, Independence Cup and the Castle Cup.
Individually, he was named the Young Player, Most Promising Player and Players’ Player of the Year at the club.
Nyoni was part of the Highlanders squad that beat a then feared Kenyan side Gor Mahia 3-1 in the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1991.
Meanwhile, retired and respected referee Wilfred Mukuna has expressed surprise at the decision to play Sibanda inside when he is a goalkeeper.

“I don’t have the tournament rules as such but I really find it strange how the player was allowed to come in without the number and name tag. He was coming in as who and how did the referee identify him and in the event of a caution how was he going to handle it,” asked Mukuna, one of the finest referees to emerge in the country.

Sibanda was introduced in the 91st minute for Zibande.He took and scored his spot kick.

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