WITH hordes of local football followers in an aura of belief that Highlanders Portuguese gaffer Baltemar Brito was going to emulate his Dutch predecessor Hendrik Pieter De Jongh at the club and guide the black and white army to Chibuku Super Cup final and help them lift it just like what the latter did in 2019, it was a pity to witness that it did not come to pass.
Bosso were last Sunday gored 1-0 by their neighbours Bulawayo Chiefs in the cup’s quarter-final tie, a development that saw Brito and his charges miss a Chibuku fine gulp, as they failed to brighten their chances of advancing to the knockout tournaments’ winners podium just like they did three years ago.
Reality now has it that Bosso will end the 2021-22 season with one trophy (Independence Cup) in their cabinet and no wonder Brito has apologised to the Bosso family.
“It’s hard to explain, it’s a weak performance. I think our boys felt the pressure of the dream to win the cup. We are sorry to the supporters, the board for this disappointment,” he said.
An apology is indeed the superglue of life and the truth of the matter is that Brito has not FAILED and his apology was certainly not a little rushed and desperate.
His scorecard is impressive. It speaks to a breathtaking progress report of an A student. Brito was lured to Bosso in June and he has been in charge of 12 matches, 10 league ties, a first round Chibuku tie against Triangle and Chibuku Super Cup against Amakhosi Amahle.
When he arrived at the home of success-starved Bosso, the club was on position 10 with 23 points after 17 games. This means he took over from Mandla “Lulu Mpofu when the Bulawayo football giants were on a wanting 45 percent success rate.
Bosso are now in position four with 44 points, a development that suggests in his 10 Premiership games in charge, Brito has seen his boys collect 21 points from a possible 30 which translates to an impressive 70 percent success rate, an impressive 25 percent positive rise of their performance.
Brito found Bosso on a 18 goal tally after conceding 13 with a goal difference of +5 from 17 outings
From 10 league matches under Brito’s mentorship, the Bulawayo football giants have found the back of the net 18 times, conceding nine to leave them with a goal difference of +14.
This all means Brito has watched his men concede nine times and up their goal difference by the same number.
Consequently, the bond between Bosso fans and players feels stronger than for many a year. Bosso fans have all the reason to pump up the volume as belief has to naturally grow in Brito and his players.
Coming from the ecstatic scenes of their seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions, all that raving on the terraces, it’s a fact that their recent loss to Chiefs was a crashing comedown. The defensive wobbles there, the raging at officialdom and the missing of a glut of chances had been a Bosso story told often.
With seven games to go before the conclusion of the 2021/2022 league race, log leaders FC Platinum, Dynamos, Chicken Inn and Cranborne Bullets among others, by contrast, may soon become a weekend session for Bosso supporters, mixing up old-school anthems with the latest hits as their team marches on and on under the guidance of ex Jose Mourinho’s assistant at Chelsea.
Though FC Platinum’s Norman Mapeza inspired menace grows week on week, it’s a fact that Bosso are enjoying life in the top four while they can.
Do Bosso fans trust Brito’s process? The bond the match-going contingent shares with the players feels stronger than with any Highlanders team for many a year.