After Highlanders’ 1-0 friendly match victory against Black Rhinos, Highlanders technical manager Mark Harrison said something about the decision to blend young and experienced players in his squad – old players were bringing something which was not there in the dressing room, he said.
True to Harrison’s words, Mkhokheli Dube – who scored the only goal of the match on that day, is so far proving to be a key piece on the chess board as he is already bringing in something that the current crop of young, talented and exciting Highlanders players need on and off the pitch – self-belief, unity and the fighting spirit.
There is already commendable leadership of club captains Ariel Sibanda, Tendai Ndlovu and Nqobizitha Masuku, but Dube comes in to add that extra voice to compliment the captains.
The veteran striker believes the team has a lot to learn from the Saturday Castle Challenge Cup loss to FC Platinum in a match where the Bulawayo football giants produced a disappointing performance.
It was FC Platinum’s new signing Silas Songani who hogged the limelight, scoring two first half goals to propel the Zvishavane-based side to a 2-0 victory, and third consecutive Castle Challenge Cup triumph.
The loss might have broken the spirits of many people within the Highlanders family, including fans who parted ways with their hard earned cash to watch the match, and players definitely want to beat every opponent, but Dube believes the team should pick some lessons from the experience and move on.
Prior to the Castle Challenge Cup match, Dube had scored in Highlanders’s friendly matches against Black Rhinos and Chapungu which Bosso won 1-0 and 2-1 respectively.
“First of all we are in this together. We stick together no matter what, even when we lose games we must stay united . There is a lot to learn from that experience and for us to compete with the best we now know what to expect and we all have to show up in big games, so we can be counted,” Dube said.
He further pleaded with the fans to continue supporting the club, and assured them that the team will work hard to produce both, results and an entertaining brand of football.
“As for the Highlanders family, we need all their support all the time even during bad days because without them we are nothing. What I can promise them is that we will work hard to make sure their hard earned money is not wasted . They deserve a winning team playing a good brand of football and we owe them that,” he added.
FC Platinum, for the third time in a row hoisted the Castle Challenge Cup which came with a cash prize of $400 000 while Highlanders picked up $250 000.