Online Desk |  1 month ago | sport
Highlanders coach Baltemar Brito has hailed the standards of Zimbabwean football, describing the local game as highly technical and physical.
This follows his team’s 1-1 stalemate with Ngezi Platinum in a tightly-contested Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Baobab on Sunday.
This was Brito’s second match in charge of Bosso, having opened his reign with an impressive 3-2 win over Black Rhinos the previous weekend.
Both games were very exciting, especially with the Bulawayo giants showing a great deal of improvement in almost every aspect of the game. And Brito, who has experience in visual analysis of the game, has been spending some time watching videos from the local game.
He is very much impressed with the physicality of the players in the league whom he also believes are very good in terms of technique.
“Zimbabwean football is very good. The players are very good in terms of their technical ability and physicality. I haven’t spent very long time in Zimbabwe but believe you me, the game in this country is up there,” he said through his interpreter and assistant coach, Antonio Torres.
“There are some things that are lacking, of course, but here the teams are very competitive. The level is just good and, of course, there are things that the country can improve to enhance the visibility of the game.
“Otherwise, the way I see it, the game is of a very good standard in this country. If some things like tactical awareness get to be improved then the game will improve even further.”
Brito believes he can transform Highlanders into a powerhouse they used to be in the past. Bosso have endured a long, dry-spell, failing to win the league title since 2006 and they have chopped and changed coaches but still lifting the league crown has proven too tough for them.
Brito, who is a Brazilian native with Portuguese citizenship as well, believes the Bosso project can bear fruits with time.
“This (project) is work in progress. We have a lot of things to improve in terms of performance.
“The players are still adapting to our system of play. They are slowly getting there and we hope they will be where we want them to be as we go.
“We are teaching them on how we want them to play. We want to build play from the back, we play beautiful football and we hope the team will be where we want them to be as we progress.
“Of course, it takes time but believe me, we will be there.”
The 71-year-old coach, who for years worked as an assistant to legendary Portuguese mentor Jose Mourinho, winning the UEFA Champions League with FC Porto of Portugal in 2004 and two English Premier League trophies with Chelsea, has also hailed the Highlanders supporters’ spirit.
“Those supporters, well, they are family. You get to enjoy the job I tell you. They make us want to work even more and better. We need to produce the results every time for them.
“The way they support the team is unmatched. One day it was raining and very chilly but they still came in big numbers. They deserve to watch the team playing (some) good football and also winning.
“We salute them and we promise to work as hard as we can to make them happy.”
Brito hinted that his club will be going to the market to beef-up their squad.
Bosso are eighth on the log with 27 points to their name, 13 behind leaders FC Platinum with 15 games still to be played in the marathon.