By mid-season in the year 2000, Highlanders gunslinger Zenzo Moyo had already scored 22 goals before moving abroad to join his new club Olympiakos Nicosia in Cyprus.
By Brian Nkiwane
The goals that the then pencil-slim striker scored helped the Bulawayo giants win the league title with a two point cushion ahead of the now defunct town rival Amazulu.
Bosso had a big goal difference, with all the credit going to Moyo, who went on to be crowned Top Goal Scorer of the season after playing only half-way through the season.
All the strikers that remained playing in the league failed to beat his 22 goal mark. It remains anybody’s guess how many goals he would have scored had he played the entire season.
Bosso managed to score 73 goals that season which had 20 clubs, later reduced to 16 the following season after six clubs, Black Aces, D T Africa, Tongogara, Air Zim Jets, Arcadia United and Hackney, were relegated from the top flight league.
However, Moyo does not buy the idea that strikers used to score more goals because there were more teams in the league than now. He has other views on how local strikers have failed to emulate yesteryear stars.
“I think football is dynamic just like everything else. Just look at every league, you will see that coaches have become so defensive that it has become really hard for strikers to score goals. Even when the coach knows very well that his next opponent is a better side, you will hear him say; ‘we better lose 1-0’.
This has killed the job of strikers which is scoring goals,” said Moyo.
“One thing that I have discovered with strikers of today is that they concentrate more on entertaining the gallery than scoring goals. Ask any player in the league, they will tell you I was not skillful at all. My job was to score goals. An outright striker does not have to be skillful. I would not have time to dribble as these boys do or exchange passes in a range where I smell a goal. We were not afraid of taking chances at goal, pick a spot and score. There was no time to waste.”
He added, “The other motivating factor during our time was that most of us were bread winners. So we knew very well that each time we won, we would have better allowances and then we were able to make our families smile at the end of the day. It was because we were not employed. That was our fulltime job so we had to work hard to get reasonable wages.”
Moyo also added his voice on the bad patch that has been going on at Highlanders.
“The problem is that most of former Highlanders players want to be coaches and no one wants to take up football administration. We can win the war in the field but the club also needs former players as administrators. I think my social team where I link up with Thabani Masawi and Siza Khoza is now attracting much more interest than what Highlanders are doing,” joked the former striker who is pursuing his ambitions of being a Fifa registered player agent.
He however dismissed any plans of coming back to the club.
“As I have already said, I am pursuing a career as a registered player agent; the only time that I might come back to assist is in player transfers that is if they would be in need of any favours from me.”
Moyo helped Highlanders win two titles before moving to Cyprus to join Olympiakos Nicosia.
Moyo stayed with the club until January 2005 when he moved to Greece and joined Atromitos Athen.
He was with the club until 2008 when he made a comeback to the team that gave him fame before ending his career to pursue other avenues.
Mkhokheli Dube, former Highlanders striker now with Chicken Inn after seeing action in the United States, said formations that clubs have resorted to have also contributed to the few goals by strikers.
“In Europe, if a team decides to use a lone striker, they will have four creative midfielders who can also get goals. Again, if you stick to a formation that needs a lone striker, he should be of top quality. So you can’t say strikers are not getting goals while you use creative midfielders,” he said.
Dynamos striker Rodrick “the Prince” Mutuma who was Top Goal scorer in 2011 having scored only 14 goals, said football has developed.
“Defenders have become too clever to trick these days, even goalkeepers are coming up with strings of brilliant saves which could have easily gone in as goals in most cases. So strikers have to dig deeper into their bags of tricks to continue scoring,” Mutuma said.
Top goal scorers
1996 Alois Bunjira CAPS United 23
1999 Chewe Mulenga Railstars 24
2000 Zenzo Moyo Highlanders 22
2003 Sageby Sandaka Amazulu 17
2004 Leonard Tsipa CAPS United 18
2005 Edmore Mufema Motor Action 17
2006 Ralph Matema Highlanders 19
2007 Cuthbert Malajila 15
2008 Evans Chikwaikwai Njube Sundowns 23
2009 Nyasha Mushekwi CAPS United 21
2010 Norman Maroto Gunners FC 22
2011 Rodrick Mutuma Dynamos 14
2012 Nelson Mazivisa Shabanie Mine 18
2013 Tendai Ndoro Chicken Inn 18