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Mandla Mpofu

Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
MADINDA Ndlovu, who is expected to be unveiled as the new Highlanders head coach this week, has reportedly settled for former Bulawayo City gaffer Mandla Mpofu as his assistant.

Mpofu will be making a return to the black and white army after a stint in a similar role under Bongani Mafu before they were sacked in 2015.

“Shakey (Madinda) has settled for Mpofu as his assistant. The other junior coaches, Melusi ‘Mabaleka’ Sibanda, Gift Lunga Jr and Sizabantu Khoza will retain their positions contrary to talk that he (Madinda) was planning sweeping changes to the technical line-up,” said a Bosso source.

Highlanders’ chief executive officer Nhlanhla Dube said the club will announce its technical line-up at a press conference this Thursday.

“As you know, we have our press briefings on Thursdays and we begin this Thursday where we will also announce our 2018 plans and everything else,” said Dube.

Mpofu resigned from his Bulawayo City job last week and the club has since appointed former Tsholotsho gaffer Darlington Dodo as his replacement.

Mpofu has of late been a regular at the Highlanders club house.

Madinda “Khathazile” Ndlovu

Madinda “Khathazile” Ndlovu

The legendary Ndlovu returns home after a spell in Botswana and takes over from Dutchman Erol Akbay, who led the club to a record low of 13 losses in the Premier Soccer League last season, having spent the better part of the second half as a lone ranger in the dugout after the resignation of his assistant Amini Soma-Phiri.

It’s not yet clear if Ndlovu will work with goalkeepers’ coach and fellow club legend Peter Nkomo, whose six month contract expired on December 31, 2017.

Highlanders have already lost one of their captains Rahman Kutsanzira, who jumped ship to join Total Caf Champions League participants FC Platinum.

Defender Tendai Ndlovu reaffirmed his commitment to the club last week when he renewed his contract, while Ozias Zibande had made a return to the club and penned a two-year contract. Both players are products of the club’s junior policy.

Sources at the Bulawayo giants said five youngsters from the Under-18 squad have also been promoted to the first team, while four from the developmental side Bosso 90 will also be first team players this season, as the club seeks to return to its roots of a vibrant junior policy that feeds into the first team.

@skhumoyo2000