Highlanders’ failure to recruit quality players complicates coach Brito’s job

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Club wants coach to win the title in 2023 but has only bought 1 ‘high profile’ player


If he fails to win the 2023
Premier Soccer League (PSL) title as mandated by his employers, Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito already has a perfect scapegoat.

The club’s recruitment policy, and recent failure to retain experienced players.

Highlanders demonstrated huge ambitions back in June 2022 when they hired a SIX thousand dollars per month coach.

The arrival of Baltemar Brito raised the hopes of many Highlanders fanatics, that the 14-year title drought would finally end.

The Portuguese’s former working relationship with one of the most successful managers in Europe, his compatriot Jose Mourinho, also heightened expectations of inevitable success.

Brito’s curriculum vitae indicates that he indeed worked with Mourinho at Chelsea and Inter Milan, winning two English Premiership titles & the Champions League in Italy.

The Bulawayo club’s recruitment policy at the moment does not match its ambitious recruitment of marquee coach, Brito.

Despite benefiting from an annual US$ 60 thousand-dollar fund for transfers as part of the sponsorship deal from Sakunda Holdings, the club has of late focused on promoting players from its development team, Bosso 90.

If sentiments reportedly raised by its members at the club’s 2023 Annual General Meeting are to be taken seriously, Brito will have to win the title for Highlanders in 2023 with rookies from the club’s academy.

The only recruits given to Brito so far are Talen Vision loanee Calvin Chigonero [striker] and midfielder Melikhaya Ncube signed from relegated Bulawayo City. Goalkeeper Reward Muza was also recalled from a loan spell at Bulawayo City.

Defence wins you titles
Highlanders has not recruited any experienced defensive reinforcements despite clear struggles at the back underlined by the 32 goals they conceded in the 2021/22 season.

The challenges were amplified when ‘ithimu yezwe lonke’ conceded three times against an already relegated Harare City on the last day of the 2021/22 season. They conceded in 11 out of 17 games in the second half of the season.

Center back, Andrew Tandi’s return from injury will solve all the problems.

Neither has the club ‘satisfactorily’ plugged the holes created by the departures of Nqobizitha Masuku to Jwaneng Galaxy, Adrian Silla to Caps United, and Devine Mhindirira who is still club-hunting.

Is the coaches’ wage-bill one of the reasons why Highlanders is not flexing its muscle on the transfer market to reinforce a squad that finished 5th last season? Maybe.

Highlanders pay the duo of Brito and his assistant Antonio Torres, US$10, 000 in salaries every month, on top of other contractual obligations like the provision of accommodation, a vehicle, and the internet.

Elsewhere, high profile coaches are backed by the recruitment of quality players. That’s the winning recipe for most big clubs. Brito has to win the title in 2023 with what he has been given.

Bosso’s transfers so far
Calvin Chigonero
Melikhaya Ncube
Reward Muza

Nqobizitha Masuku
Adrian Silla
Divine Mhindirira
Toto Banda
Muziwakhe Dhlamini
Bukosi Sibanda


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