BY FORTUNE MBELE
THE search for a striker at Highlanders has finally come to an end after signing little-known former Division One side ZPC Munyati forward Washington Navaya, who has impressed coach Mandla “Lulu” Mpofu.
The Bulawayo giants dropped veteran striker Mkhokheli Dube, who has since joined ambitious Zifa Southern Region side Talen Vision.
Navaya (22), younger brother to former Highlanders striker Macreza, featured for the Bulawayo giants in a goalless friendly match against FC Platinum at Mandava Stadium on Saturday as the two clubs gear up for the Premier Soccer League tournament that is set to start at the weekend.
Mpofu has described Navaya as a brilliant striker.
“He will get better with time, but so far I am impressed with the young man. He is a player that bullies and is hungry for those goals. He has got a good height and is very good in the air,” Mpofu said.
Navaya was unveiled on Sunday at the official launch of Highlanders’ partnership with Sanctuary Insurance Company at a local hotel.
Highlanders have also enlisted the services of their former midfielder and 2019 Soccer Star of the Year Joel “Josta” Ngodzo and FC Platinum’s former player Winston Mhango.
Also back at Bosso is Toto Banda with Pritchard Mpelele and Chrispen Ncube also joining the Bulawayo giants.
They have also grabbed Andrew Tandi from Black Rhinos and striker Lynoth Chikuhwa.
Navaya started against FC Platinum and was replaced by Chikuhwa, formerly with Tsholotsho FC.
Mpofu was impressed by his boys performance in the friendly match against FC Platinum.
“Considering the loss to Dynamos in the Independence Trophy final where we let it soft goals, we have improved and we played very well. As a coach one will obviously be happy that we defended very well, did not concede against a very good side,” Mpofu said.
Ngodzo came in for Adrian Silla, while Ray Lunga replaced Mpelele on the left wing.
Godfrey Makaruse, on the right wing, was taken out for Rodi Sibanda, who signed for Highlanders last year from South African giants Orlando Pirates, where he played for their reserve side.
Muziwethu Dlamini, elevated to the senior team from Division One side Bosso 90, came in for Devine Mhindirira in midfield, while goalkeeper Future Sibanda, on loan from FC Platinum, started and was substituted by veteran Ariel Sibanda.
Highlanders had in defence Ncube on the right and Mbongeni Ndlovu on the left, Peter Muduhwa and Andrew Mbeba in central defence with Nqobizitha Masuku being the anchorman.
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