Mbesuma and Mashumba can form deadly partnership at Highlands Park

18 July 2016 - 18:08 By Chumani Bambani


Highlands Park may be about to begin their first season in topflight football but the newly promoted side already boasts what‚ on paper at least‚ appears to be one of the most lethal strike forces in the Premier Soccer League (PSL). The Tembisa-based side named 12 new signings for the coming season on Monday‚ with last season’s PSL top goal scorer Collins Mbesuma and ex-Jomo Cosmos marksman Charlton Mashumba headlining the Lions of the North’s new dozen.Goals are something coach Allan Freese is clearly seeking in the side’s debut season‚ and the responsibility will be carried by the duo.“As a striker you always want to be the top goal scorer and to continue where you left off. As a striker every season you want to finish as the top goal scorer‚” Mbesuma said‚ highlighting his ambitions with his new side. Mbesuma‚ who had garnered interest from no less than seven PSL teams after parting ways with his former club Mpumalanga Black Aces (now known as Cape Town FC)‚ is excited by the new challenge that awaits him.“I had some issues there (at Aces) – not football related – so I just asked if I could go. I had personal issues‚” the Zambian international said‚ expalining his departure from his former club.“I had some offers around. When I met the boss and we talked about the future of the team I was convinced. That’s why I joined. I also had to put my family [into consideration]‚ so I had to stay in Joburg. I want to settle in one place.“I had about six or seven [offers] – all in the PSL. I also had some offers outside [the country] but for now I want to remain in the PSL.” The Zimbabwean-born Mashumba‚ who is said to have been on the radar of some of the top PSL clubs‚ particularly Kaizer Chiefs‚ is excited about his imminent striking partnership with Mbesuma.“For me it is an honour to play alongside him‚ if we get an opportunity to play together‚” said the 23-year-old Mashumba.“It was such an honour to play against that man‚ I learnt a lot from him.There they are. Highlands Park's new players pic.twitter.com/WMCjVWsv4S— Tshepang Mailwane (@T_Mailwane) July 18, 2016junk “He is an experienced striker who has been in this game for a long time. I’m sure I will have more time to learn more from him.”Despite interest from clubs like Chiefs and even overseas offers‚ the former Cosmos striker believes Highlands Park is the best team for him to further develop as a player. “This is a great opportunity for me to showcase myself once again.Their (Highlands Park) structures‚ they are professional. I also thought that I could get more game time if I want to move forward with my career. It is a wonderful opportunity with a great team.“There is always time [to move to bigger teams or overseas]. With my age‚ I still have quite a few more seasons. So those opportunities will come later.”The pair are intent on ensuring that the Lions of the North have a successful debut season‚ with a top eight finish a target the pair believes is an achievable goal.“I think we will compete for the top eight‚ as a start. That is my aim for the team and we will take it from there‚” said Mbesuma. - TMG Digital

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.