Highlanders Coach Kelvin Kaindu: Unearthing Future Stars During PSL Break

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Kaindu scouts Division One talent during PSL break.
Challenges in scouting due to match scheduling conflicts.
Injuries prompt need for squad depth and recovery.
Highlanders seek resurgence after dip in form.

During the three-week hiatus of the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL), Highlanders coach Kelvin Kaindu is capitalizing on this downtime to scout for emerging talent in the Zifa Southern Region Division One Soccer League. This strategic move comes ahead of the mid-season transfer window opening next month, as Kaindu aims to bolster his squad for the second half of the season.

Scouting in Full Swing

Kelvin Kaindu wasted no time in his scouting mission, beginning his talent hunt with a visit to watch Highlanders’ developmental side, Bosso 90, in their match against Mainline from Plumtree at Luveve Stadium’s B Arena. Despite Bosso 90’s defeat, Kaindu’s search for potential recruits continued as he proceeded to White City Stadium to witness Zebra Revolution’s dominant 4-1 victory over Bulawayo City.

Zebra Revolution, led by former Highlanders striker Mkhokheli Dube, has been making waves in Division One, recently demolishing Ajax Hotspurs with a 6-0 thrashing. This level of performance has certainly caught Kaindu’s eye, and he is closely monitoring several promising players.

Challenges of Scouting Lower Leagues

Kaindu acknowledges the difficulties in scouting Division One players due to scheduling conflicts, as their matches often coincide with top-flight games. “It has always been difficult to watch them (Bosso 90 and Division One) play because they also play when we are playing, usually on Sunday,” Kaindu explained. However, he managed to find opportunities to evaluate these players during weekdays, underscoring his dedication to identifying hidden gems.

“Several names have been proposed and we have to try and find them. Coaching is diverse and talent can also be identified in the lower leagues. It is good that our Bosso 90 is also competing in that league,” Kaindu added. His commitment to scouting talent in lower leagues highlights a broader vision for team development.

Addressing Squad Depth Issues

Kaindu has been vocal about the lack of depth in his squad, particularly in the attacking department. The challenge of making effective substitutions has often left him relying on tactical permutations. The mid-season transfer window offers an opportunity to address these issues by bringing in fresh talent to strengthen the squad.

Injury Concerns and Recovery

The break is timely for Highlanders, as several key players are nursing injuries. Godfrey Makaruse, Archford Faira, Gillian Nyathi, and Brighton Ncube are among those recovering. “The break comes at a time when we want to see these players recover. We have given them a break and we will resume training next week,” Kaindu noted. This period allows injured players to heal and return stronger for the season’s resumption.

Mid-Season Reflections

Highlanders started the season impressively, topping the log standings. However, a dip in form has seen them drop to fourth place, trailing leaders Manica Diamonds, FC Platinum, and Simba Bhora. Tied on 22 points with Chicken Inn and seven points behind Manica Diamonds, Highlanders need a resurgence to reclaim their top position.

Despite the team’s fluctuating performance, Bosso striker Lynoth Chikuhwa has been a standout, leading the scorers’ chart with seven goals. His consistent performance offers a glimmer of hope for the team as they prepare for the second half of the season.

Players at the Club

Lynoth Chikuhwa: Highlanders’ leading scorer with seven goals, showcasing consistent performance despite the team’s fluctuating form.

Godfrey Makaruse: Sidelined with an injury, his recovery during the break is crucial for Highlanders’ attacking strength.

Archford Faira: Another key player dealing with injuries, his fitness is vital for the team’s defense.

Gillian Nyathi: Currently injured, his return to full fitness is eagerly anticipated to bolster midfield options.

Brighton Ncube: Playing through injury, his resilience is commendable, but the break provides a chance for complete recovery.

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