Bosso in a dark corner

Langton Nyakwenda
\nTheir new coach, Amini Soma Phiri, doesn’t inspire confidence. Neither does his dressing. Clad in an oversized black suit and a white head gear Soma-Phiri looked uncomfortable and confused in his first game away to Harare City. HIGHLANDERS are stuck between a rock and a hard place and there appears to be no immediate solution to their free fall in sight. Their new coach, Amini Soma Phiri, doesn’t inspire confidence.
\nNeither does his dressing. Clad in an oversized black suit and a white head gear Soma-Phiri looked uncomfortable and confused in his first game away to Harare City.

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He looked drained and bereft of any football sense as Bosso succumbed to their fourth straight defeat, in the second round of the 2015 season.
\nCity won 1-0. Soma-Phiri, a CAF B License holder, is one of the longest serving Bosso players, having donned the famous black and white strip between 1985 and 1997.

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However, his coaching record is not that illustrious. Soma-Phiri is arriving from Division Three side Luveve Big Eleven, a team he founded in 2000 and has produced the likes of Thabani Kamusoko, Milton Ncube, Peter “Rio” Moyo and Guide Goddard. He coached the Bulawayo Province Youth Games team between 2005 and 2009 and had brief flirtations with Zimbabwe Saints in between.

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Soma Phiri has his work cut out as Bosso have just two wins from their last 12 outings and have lost four of their last five matches.
\nA lifeless 1-0 win over struggling Flame Lily at Barbourfields ended the winless run but everyone associated with this great institution appreciates that this is not what Bosso should be.

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With 28 points in the bag Highlanders are a massive 21 points behind table toppers Chicken Inn and closer to the relegation zone than the top four going into today’s clash against Caps United at National Sports Stadium.

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As the season heads for the wire Bosso are in a desperate corner as they now risk finishing outside the top eight for the first time since the inception of the Premier Soccer League in 1993.

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These are worrying times for a club that has won five league titles, including four in a row, in the Premiership era.
\nUnited States based former club captain Thulani “Biya” Ncube, a winner of three straight championship medals at Bosso during their four year blitz between 1999 and 2002, is pained.

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“It’s sad man, they (executive) should fix things very fast. I hope they start winning because everyone with links to this club is pained,” he said.
\n“Losing good coaches has been the major problem at Bosso. They fired Methembe (Ndlovu) in 2008 but his team was not that bad, in fact he had won the title two years earlier.

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“They let go of Kelvin Kaindu last year, a very good coach. When they fired those coaches they were on second position but they ended up dismally.” The general feeling among the club’s fans that is trending on the social media forums is that the Peter Dube-led executive has failed and should step down.

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They accuse the club leadership of pressing the wrong buttons at the crucial stages. The wisdom in Bongani Mafu’s sacking, with nine games to go, has also been questioned. A Bosso fan, Butholezwe Seka Siyanda Ndlovu’s recent post on the club’s Facebook page, best sums up the common feeling among Highlanders supporters.

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“Firing the coach has proven to all and sundry that it is never going to solve the problems at Bosso. “Only when the current executive is gone will I have hope for this team,” fumed Siyanda Ndlovu. However, Highlanders’ chief executive officer Ndumiso Gumede defended his bosses and declared that Bosso will “definitely” finish among the top eight teams.

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“You can’t please everybody, some will tell us we did the right thing firing Mafu while others will say we did wrong,” he said. “Mafu was given a target to win six out of the first 10 matches of the season and he failed. Results in the following 10 games were even worse. “His final target was top four but we felt he would not take us there and we changed the card. Soma-Phiri can take us out of this unfamiliar position, he knows our system and Zulu is experienced.”

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Soma-Phiri has to win at least five of the remaining seven games if he entertains any hopes of getting a permanent job at the volatile club Bosso.
\nIt’s a tough call but the gaffer believes it can be done. “It is only the position that we are in that makes us a little desperate but we will definitely pull through,” said Soma Phiri.

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“Sometimes playing without your best players is difficult, you are aware our leading scorer Knox Mutizwa and key players Nqobizitha Masuku and Teenage Hadebe were at the Africa Games. “Their return is a big boost, people should not panic. I have got massive coaching experience, I started coaching in 1998 and know the Bosso culture very well,” said the Luveve-bred gaffer.