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Akbay hails Highlanders players

12/12/2016 00:00:00
by Supersport
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay

HIGHLANDERS coach Erol Akbay is satisfied with his first season in charge of the Bulawayo giants.

The Dutchman joined the Bulawayo outfit at the beginning of the year and led them to position three finish on the log.

It was a season in which Highlanders were expected to win the league title but, blew up the crowning chance by dropping points in crucial matches, especially towards the end of the race.

They however finished their season on a low by losing to Dynamos on Sunday in a friendly match to celebrate their 90th years anniversary.

Despite missing out on the league crown, Akbay is impressed by the way his charges executed themselves.

The Dutchman has however been more vocal on his take, on the blunt strikers in the PSL as this season’s top goal-scorer Leonard Tsipa, of Caps United struck 11 goals which are the fewest goals ever scored by a top marksman in the league.

Bruce Kangwa finished the season as Highlanders top goal-scorer, despite managing seven goals, just before the season’s halfway mark before joining Tanzanian club Azam.

“To be honest I did not expect the boys to play the way they did. They impressed me above my expectations,” Akbay said.

“There are even some players I did not think would play the way they did. We were simply building a team for next season but, we almost won the league title. That gives me confidence that we can achieve more next season. Look Rahman (Kutsanzira) was good and I feel he should have been one of the players on that Soccer Star of the Year lost. A player like Prince Dube just came in and did a good job while no one knew him. We even lost Bruce and Knox (Mutizwa) to foreign clubs but we still did well.”

Highlanders goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda was last Friday named as the club’s best player this season.

Teenage striker Prince Dube was crowned as the most promising Player to cap a dream season in which he was also voted as the PSL Rookie of the Year.

Kutsanzira came in as the Players’ Player of the Season.


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