HARARE – While their rivals are signing established talent, Harare giants Dynamos are ready to challenge for the title with a squad full of unknowns and crestfallen stars.
The Glamour Boys are currently in fourth place on the Castle Lager Premiership log table with 33 points and trail leaders Chicken Inn by five points.
Crucially, DeMbare have two games in hand to the platinum miners as they still have to play against CAPS United while the other outstanding fixture is the abandoned game against Chapungu which the Premier Soccer League yesterday ruled should be resumed from the 56th minute with Dynamos leading 4-0.
If they get maximum points from both matches, the Glamour Boys will shoot to the top of the table, something which was unexpected at the start of the season.
DeMbare released some of their senior players that include forward Roderick Mutuma, captain Stephen Alimenda and Jacob Muzokomba.
The club also failed to retain regular starters like Godknows Murwira, Dominic Mukandi and Brett Amidu after they were signed by the more financially stable Ngezi Platinum Stars and FC Platinum respectively.
However, with a nucleus of defenders in Ocean Mushure, Obey Mwerahari and midfielder Denver Mukamba, coach Lloyd Mutasa and his technical team have been able to build a decent side by making shrewd signings.
Cameroonian Christian Ntouba, Emmanuel Mandiranga, Quality Kangadze and Cleopas Kapupurika were all virtually unknowns before making a huge impact in the first half of the season to help DeMbare defy odds.
Crestfallen star Lincoln Zvasiya has resurrected his career at the Glamour Boys.
That trend of going for the less-established stars has continued in the just-ended transfer window after the club added defenders Jimmy Kanono, Godfrey Mukambi and striker Thembinkosi Simango.
Mutasa said they have been forced to abandon chasing marquee signings due to the clubs’ limited financial resources and instead have tried to unlock the value in bargain purchases during the transfer window.
DeMbare’s sponsorship package from BancABC was significantly reduced at the start of the season due to the harsh economic climate prevailing in the country.
“As a technical team, we are part of the of management structure of the club and we know the budget of the team,” Mutasa told the Daily News.
“We cannot go for the big players like what the other teams in the league are doing. If we are going to go for someone like (Roderick) Mutuma then that is going to impact negatively on our budget.”
Mutasa said it is their duty as coaches to get the best out of the squad that is at their disposal.
“Every coach or player would like to win in every game that they play; that’s the only objective,” he said.
“It’s that drive that we use to motivate the players to do well and we always try to do our best so as to make sure that the material we have will deliver the desired results.
“Even if you have got a player who is still in secondary school, we have to make sure we prepare that young player to be ready for the task at hand which is to win a football match.”
Commenting on the arrival of Simango, Kanono and Mukambi’s arrival, Mutasa said: “The trio have been training with us for at least a month now and they have been doing well. I hope they will add more depth to the team.”
The former DeMbare midfielder admitted the squad has exceeded expectations when everyone had predicted that they would struggle this season.
“The good thing is that the players have their own motivations. They know that playing for Dynamos will not be the ceiling of football,” Mutasa said.
“They are trying hard to prove to everyone that they are good players and maybe one day they can be scouted to play abroad.”
After a good first round of the season where they only lost on three occasions, Mutasa is confident that his side can continue to improve and maybe land the title in the second round.
“We always emphasise that football is the same and we will continue to play in the same way that we have done all season long,” he said.
“The players have shown character we are going to take each game as it comes with a target of collecting maximum points.
“We will try to win as many games as possible and we will see where that will take us at the end of the season.”