Former Highlanders versatile player Milton Ncube believes the marriage between his former club and coach Mark Harrison is a perfect one, especially if the club could be supportive and patient with the newly appointed Bosso gaffer.
Highlanders executive chairman Kenneth Mhlophe confirmed the club’s marriage with the gaffer, whose managerial career started in 1994 with Stafford Rangers in the United Kingdom.
He also previously managed the Bangladesh national team from 2000-2001, coached South African sides Mpumalanga Black Aces, African Warriors, Bay Stars, Chippa United and Golden Arrows. He also had a two-year stint with Township Rollers in Botswana.
Harrison is not new to Zimbabwean football, having been in the dugout for CAPS United and Harare City, where he united with Ncube in 2019, a former Highlanders player who remains a favourite for many Bosso fans.
He penned a two-year deal with Bosso up to December 2021.
Ncube is familiar with the Highlanders culture and philosophy after flourishing in the club colours as an attacking midfielder between 2012 and 2014, and he believes his former Boss is a perfect fit for the Bosso job.
“I think it’s a very perfect marriage considering how both parties love to play the game. Highlanders’ culture has always been based on the passing game and the attacking flair hence the nickname Bossolona in comparison to the tiki taka playing Barcelona some years back,”
“Having said so, it is always of utmost importance who Highlanders appoint as the coach. I think with Harrison it is the perfect marriage based on how he likes the game to be played which is building from the back,” said Ncube.
He however, raised concerns over the length of the contract, arguing that the newly appointed technical manager deserves time to build a championship winning team.
The 33-year-old left-footed diminutive player who has mixed memories with the club further recalled the team’s trajectory under the tutelage of Zambian gaffer Kelvin Kaindu who he believes deserved more time with the team as he was in sync with the Bosso playing culture and philosophy.
Arguably one of the finest players to play for Bosso in the past decade, Ncube was a key member of the Kaindu’s ‘so near yet so far’ squad that lost the championship to bitter rivals Dynamos on goal difference in two consecutive seasons.
Under Kelvin Kaindu Highlanders displayed beautiful passing football, but that was not good enough as the team finished as runners up to Dynamos in 2012 and 2013, losing out on goal difference.
However, despite all those setbacks, Kaindu’s side managed to win the 2013 edition of the Mbada Diamonds cup, making them the club’s most successful squad of the decade.
“The only part I’m not happy with is the length of the contract which I think they should have added another year. FC Platinum should be a very good example of giving your coach more time to build a Championship winning team. Mapeza didn’t win the league in his first season but you could see he was building something with that team,”
“We have a tendency of not being patient as a club because of the huge stature of the club but we should not forget that most teams have caught up with the so called big teams especially the company backed teams because they have the financial muscle. Kelvin Kaindu is another example, he did very well in the first two seasons. He fell short on goal difference in those two seasons but we never built on that we went on to push him out in his third season,”
“The philosophy he brought to the club was so enormous but we took it for granted. That time it was easy to even bring the young players into the the team because everyone understood the philosophy of the club the at that time. Having said that I hope we give Mark all the support he needs and I’m really looking for to see the team under him,” added Ncube.
At Highlanders Ncube played alongside the likes of Innocent Mapuranga, Masimba Mambare, Peter ‘Rio’ Moyo, Munyaradzi Diya, Mthulisi Maphosa, Bruce Tshuma, Bruce Kangwa, Eric Mudzingwa, Dumisani ‘Fazo’ Ndlovu, Knox Mutizwa, Ozias Zibande, Beavan Chikaka, Njabulo ‘Tshiki’ Ncube, Simon Munawa, and the current club captain and longest serving member Ariel Sibanda among others.