On Sunday we face TelOne FC in a Castle Larger Premier Soccer League (PSL) match at Barbourfields stadium, exactly twenty weeks after Ray Lunga emerged as a Highlanders hero by scoring the only goal to hand Bosso a 1-0 victory over the midlands-based side – the Bulawayo giants’ first win of the 2019 season.
From that day Lunga has not put his foot off the pedal and he has since established himself as the fan favourite.
If the match reports of that match were to be written based on last season team composition, and players’ individual form, the dominant narrative would have been that Highlanders got their goal from ‘an unusual source’ because in 2018, Lunga was a mere squad player, and at his best, he would make it into the match day squad, but only as a bench warmer.
However, this season it has been a different story as the diminutive, skillful and intelligent 26-year-old Lunga managed to establish himself as a key cog of the current Highlanders squad.
After scoring his first goal of the season, powering Bosso to a moral lifting victory against TelOne FC, he was described by the local daily, the Chronicle as ‘the Ray of hope for Bosso’, a narrative which was also adopted by Sunday News recently – clear indication of how consistent the winger has been, for the club.
Interestingly, for Lunga who has been one of the best and most consistent players for Highlanders so far this season, the objective before the start of the season was to upgrade himself from being a squad player to a regular starter, without necessarily ruling out an other possibilities.
Today most of those who watch Highlanders very often, have expressed their joy in watching him, and believe should he continue like this, he will make it to the 2019 soccer star of the year best 11, together with teammates Ariel Sibanda, Peter Muduhwa, Nqobizitha Masuku, Prince Dube and Tinashe Makanda.
Lunga who chose not to talk about the Sunday match has so far achieved his pre-season goals, and he won’t be surprised should he achieve more.
“It has been great, my target was to start more games than last season,”
“It feels good to be getting support from the fans. It shows they appreciate the hard work you put in,”said Lunga.
Asked whether he envisaged making it into the 2019 PSL stars list, the hard working Lunga said he will welcome the recognition.
“I wouldn’t be surprised but will be happy that the hard work l have been putting has been rewarded,” added Lunga.
So far this season he has been directly involved in the team’s six, out of 18 league goals – scoring three and assisting three.
His other two goals came against current log leaders CAPS United and Manica Diamonds.
Lunga is the son of the former Highlanders prolific goal scorer Gift Lunga senior who won a lot of silverware with the club in the 90s.