The Sunday Mail
LLOYD Mutasa appears to be onto something once again. Looking at the Dynamos players who attended last Thursday’s gym session at Body Tech in Harare, one gets the feeling “Samaita” will start the forthcoming season on a better footing as compared to last year.
This time last year, Mutasa was not even certain of his future with DeMbare.
Neither did he have a concrete squad following the departure of key players Godknows Murwira, Brett Amidu and Dominic Mukandi.
Roderick Mutuma, Steven Alimenda, Jacob Muzokomba and Sydney Linyama were also offloaded during the same period.
But this January looks different as Dynamos have already stepped up preparations for the 2018 season with some of their new signings already showing signs of getting into the groove.
“Last year was difficult, we had to build a team from scratch but this year we are in a far much better position,” said Mutasa.
‘The positive is that we managed to return the majority of the players who did duty for us last season and added some new boys. The challenge now is to make sure that we get the team chemistry going.’
The returning Blessing “Bisto” Moyo was among those who attended the gym sessions which started on Monday.
Former Harare City centre back Jimmy Tigere and the versatile James Marufu, formerly with FC Platinum and Ngezi Platinum, were the other notable figures.
Peace Makaha was as jovial as ever, singing and chanting as the players went through an aerobics session conducted by club physical instructor Tendai Chaipa last Thursday.
Vice-captain Obey Mwerahari assumed the leadership role in the absence of skipper Ocean Mushure who was attending to a family bereavement in Shurugwi.
Another new arrival, Raphael Manuvire, who joined DeMbare from ZPC Kariba, was excused last week as he sorted out relocation issues.
Veteran centre back Marshal Machazane is expected to start training tomorrow having been away in South Africa where his wife is reportedly not feeling well.
However, Denver Mukamba was not available as usual and it looks like the troublesome midfielder will not kick a ball for DeMbare this season.
Although Dynamos coach Mutasa refused to talk about Mukamba’s absence, The Sunday Mail understands that the Mukamba issue has created friction within the DeMbare family.
The truant Mukamba was initially shown the exit door but reports surfaced that Dynamos made a U-turn, as the move would have seen the Harare giants parting with thousands of dollars to buy out the midfielder’s contract which expires next year.
Aside from that issue, Mutasa and his assistants Biggie Zuze and Zondai Nyaungwa need to attend to the goalkeeping area where Tonderayi Mateyaunga held forte last season.
With Ashley Reyners gone, DeMbare only have Blessing Mwandimutsira as Mateyaunga’s cover.
Talk is the Glamour Boys will go all out for a tried and tested keeper to take over the Number 1 jersey with the pair of Elvis Chipezeze and Tafadzwa Dube being linked with moves.
“We will see how it goes but yeah, the goalkeeping area is one that we will also look at because we need to have three good goalkeepers,” said Mutasa.
“The good thing for now is that the boys are responding well and the majority of them look like they were training on their own during the festive season, which is a sign of commitment.
“The desire is there, the boys are enjoying the sessions and everyone looks geared for the pre-season,” said Mutasa after the hour-long aerobics session.
Cameroonian import Christian Joel Epoupa, who incurred an ankle injury whilst on trial at South African side Bidvest Wits a fortnight ago, has his own special recovery program.
After finishing second to FC Platinum last year, DeMbare is confident of mounting a title charge with the competition for places set to get stiffer.
Blessing Moyo will give Makaha a stiff challenge at right back where Mwerahari or Pakhamani Dube can also play.
Tigere, Machazane, Marufu and Mukambi can all play at centre back, just as much as they all can switch into the defensive link man position, a position that Mwerahari operated in for most of last season.
Gift Saunyama can also play in central midfield.
Quality Kangadzi, Tawanda Macheke, Cleopas Kapupurika, Valentine Ndaba and Emmanuel Mandiranga are some of the options going forward.
Former FC Platinum and Yadah FC linkman Tatenda “Spragga” Dzumbunu is also trying his luck at DeMbare with the player believing that Mutasa has a way of bringing out the best in him.