Madinda Ndlovu

Class of distinction: Target was maximum of 11 points and mininum of 9

Fungai Muderere
HIGHLANDERS technical manager Madinda Ndlovu reckons that in the last five games, his youthful charges affectionately nicknamed the ECD class, have passed with flying colours.

Ndlovu is known for his penchant of not giving praise so quickly, but it would seem his current pool of talent has made him a proud coach.

The youthful Bosso have amassed a total of 13 points from a possible 15, a record that Ndlovu classified as a “distinction” because the boys surpassed their target.

Bosso had aimed at getting a minimum nine points and maximum of 11 points in the first five games of the Premiership. The team has been punching beyond its expectations and has in the process beat Black Rhinos (2-1), thumped Herentals (2-0), played a goalless draw against Triangle and somehow chose Easter Monday to touch the heavens when they edged their old time rivals Dynamos 1-0.

As if that was not enough, only last Sunday, slippery Godfrey Makaruse rose an airborne to nod home a solitary strike that saw them edge a formidable and stubborn Nichrut 1-0 before a packed Barbourfields Stadium.

Ndlovu translated this to an 87 percent success rate as their minimum target was to collect nine points (60 percent) from the first five games of the season.

“We set ourselves targets in terms of how we want to go around our business. We don’t want to put our players under severe pressure by looking at the whole campaign consisting of 34 games.

“We have broken the games into certain targeted areas. The first five games have gone by, so it’s history. We have gone beyond our target. Our target was probably to get a maximum of 11 points and a minimum of about nine points and if you add that it could take us to the top four at the end of season which will be an achievement for the club with the so-called ECD,” said Ndlovu.

The Bosso family believes the new blood in the team is the future of football.

Ndlovu has also embarked on a project to “revive the Highlanders culture” and with regards to their forthcoming match day six, a Bulawayo derby tie against Chicken Inn the gaffer told BossoTv that theirs was a bigger picture.

“We are not only looking at Chicken Inn but at the bracket where Chicken Inn falls into. We are looking at the next five games to achieve a minimum of nine points and maximum of 11 points and anything beyond that will be a bonus for us,” said the shrewd mentor who returned to Bosso for a second spell early this year.

His previous stroll with Bosso in 2009 has a lot of memories of a team that was moulded for success.

Ndlovu, an ex-Dream Team member, has been coaching in Botswana in recent years where he won three back-to-back league titles with Mochudi Centre Chiefs (2011/12 and 2012/ 13) and Township Rollers (2013-14).

He also had a stint with Orapa United and guided them to a 2016 Mascom Top 8 triumph. Meanwhile, other Premier Soccer League fixtures will see struggling Harare giants, Dynamos, who are yet to collect maximum points, meet Yadah FC while Ngezi Platinum Stars square it off against Shabanie Mine in Zvishavane.

Mandava Stadium will be the venue for the game between FC Platinum and Harare City. Buoyant Black Rhinos meet Chapungu in a battle of the army sides while bruised Bulawayo City will be hoping to redeem themselves when they lock horns with Herentals in Harare.

Former champions CAPS United, who finally posted their first of the season when they thumped Herentals 2-0 last weekend, have a date with struggling Triangle in the Lowveld.

Nichrut will be out to rediscover their initial form when they meet seemingly powerless ZPC Kariba at Ascot Stadium.

Week Six Fixtures

Friday
Black Rhinos FC v Chapungu FC (Rufaro Stadium)

Saturday
Mutare City FC v Bulawayo Chiefs (Vengere Stadium) FC Platinum v Harare City FC (Mandava Stadium) Herentals FC v Bulawayo City FC (Rufaro Stadium), National Sports Stadium), Nichrut FC v ZPC Kariba FC (Ascot Stadium)

Sunday
Triangle FC v Caps United FC (Gibbo Stadium) Dynamos FC v Yadah FC (Rufaro Stadium) Chicken Inn FC v Highlanders FC (Barbourfields Stadium), Shabanie Mine FC v Ngezi Platinum Stars FC (Maglas Stadium)