The Sunday Mail
LLOYD CHIGOWE’S plans to build a formidable Dynamos side for the 2019 season could suffer a blow as rising goalkeeper Simba Chinani has attracted foreign interest.
After finishing a disappointing 11th in the just ended 2018 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, DeMbare are planning a major overhaul and Chigowe has a mammoth task of rebuilding the ailing giants ahead of the 2019 term.
Only a handful of players, including impressive goalie Chinani, defender Pakhamani Dube and central midfielder Gift Saunyama, are believed to be in Chigowe’s plans.
However, Chigowe might lose the 22-year-old Chinani, whose stock has risen massively since he wrestled the DeMbare No.1 jersey from Tonderai Mateyaunga last June.
Chinani, who was a social player just over a year ago, before trying his luck at Yadah Stars, kept seven clean sheets in the 17 games he featured in as relegation threatened Dynamos.
Those performances have attracted interest from some clubs in South Africa and Tanzania.
According to a source at DeMbare, South African giants Orlando Pirates are one of the ABSA Premiership clubs that have shown a keen interest, with a plan to play Chinani in the Multichoice Diski Challenge — South African PSL’s reserve league.
There’s stiff competition for the No. 1 jersey at the Buccaneers’ who have the experienced duo of Brilliant Khuzwayo and Wayne Sandilands on their books.
Azam of Tanzania, who are home to Zimbabwean international Tafadzwa Kutinyu, are also amongst the teams showing interest in the Chegutu bred goalkeeper.
Chinani’s manager Brighton Ushendibaba did not give much away when he was contacted for a comment.
“We have received a number of enquiries from South Africa, Tanzania and some from as far as Saudi Arabia and Dubai but we are not talking about that as yet because nothing concrete has materialized.
“It’s normal for Simba (Chinani) to attract such interest given his performances at Dynamos in the second half of the season,” said Ushendibaba.
Described by DeMbare coach Chigove as a shining star before getting a rare endorsement from assistant gaffer Murape Murape, Chinani has slowly convinced pundits he could be Dynamos’ next big find after Tatenda Mkuruva, who is now based in Zambia.
“I am aware people are starting to compare me with Mkuruva but I haven’t reached those levels yet. Mkuruva is one of my idols and I still have a lot to do before I reach his level.
“I have to work hard, especially on my ball distribution and footwork,” said Chinani.