The Sunday Mail
. . . Genesis of a new chapter for Mangombe
THIS time last year, Genesis Mangombe was fighting relegation with Yadah, who eventually finished the season just two points above the drop zone.
He was an unheralded coach then.
There were some who, however, fell in love with his passing football philosophy and training drills.
As luck would have it, the 40-year-old moved to Dynamos as Herbert Maruwa’s assistant at the beginning of the 2023 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.
He remained assistant until August 8, when he succeeded Maruwa.
Just over a month later, Mangombe has endeared himself with the Dynamos legion of supporters and the ZIFA Normalisation Committee. He added another feather to his cap when he was appointed interim Warriors assistant coach last week.
It appears things are moving fast and in the right direction for the former ZRP Harare and Black Mambas coach.
“As a person, you need to be approachable and coachable as well.
“Also listen to various opinions. At the end of the day, people will recognise you,” Mangombe told The Sunday Mail Sport.
He is in high spirits as he braces for his maiden Harare derby clash.
Dynamos host city rivals CAPS United at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon, as Premiership football returns to the capital after a 112-day absence.
The last time DeMbare played at the giant stadium was on June 4, when they walloped ZPC Kariba 3-0.
Makepekepe had lost 1-2 against Cranborne Bullets at the same venue the previous day.
Since then, Dynamos has been using Barbourfields as their home ground.
The two Harare giants go into today’s fixture with contrasting fortunes.
DeMbare are nine points clear of Makepekepe, who are winless in their last eight matches.
Dynamos won the reverse fixture 2-0, courtesy of goals by Donald Mudadi and Jayden Bakare.
However, history has taught us form does not count for much in these fixtures.
“Like we always say, playing against CAPS United is a derby and when these two teams meet, it’s a big game,” says Mangombe.
“You expect any result in this match, so we want to try our best to move the ball as usual.
“We need to have character because this is what determines these kinds of games.”
While Mangombe is relatively inexperienced in this fixture, his CAPS United counterpart Lloyd Chitembwe is a veteran of many such battles as both a player and coach.
Chitembwe’s team might be struggling, but they will no doubt come out guns blazing this afternoon.
Such has been the focus at Makepekepe that some senior players like Devon Chafa were not willing to talk much before the battle.
“This time, I think we will have to talk after the match,” Chafa said.
CAPS United assistant coach Fungai Tostao Kwashi ran out of superlatives when he spoke about this clash on Thursday.
“It’s going to be a great game, it’s going to be explosive, it’s going to be a humdinger,” Kwashi said.
“I hope fans will get their due rewards from both sets of teams but, obviously, the Green Machine is going to win.
“We need to make a good return to the capital.”
Dynamos are also eager to please their Harare fans after some time in Bulawayo.
“They need to appreciate the way our boys are responding to the system and also the way we are playing.
“We are playing very good football at the moment,” said Mangombe.
DeMbare go into this match in a better space than their opponents.
They have also been buoyed by the return of star midfielder Tanaka “Kante” Shandirwa, who missed last weekend’s loss to Bulawayo Chiefs.
DeMbare conceded two soft goals in that match, with skipper Frank Makarati shouldering the blame for Bulawayo Chiefs’ second goal by Obriel Chirinda.
“We need to be cautious,” added Mangombe. “We do not want to concede silly goals. Sometimes, it is better to draw than to lose a match.”
Dynamos’ twin brothers — Kelvin and Elvis Moyo — will once again make history by playing in the derby for the second time this year.
“It’s a special feeling, you know. We have been playing together since we were juniors in Bulawayo,” said Elvis.
“Harare has been good, but we didn’t have the perfect start we wanted, especially in the first games we played.
“I think now we have a good understanding of each other as players.”
Kelvin added: “At Dynamos, results are wanted every day and there is no time for experiments.”
The twins won league titles with FC Platinum and believe they can achieve the same with Dynamos.
DeMbare are on 36 points and trailed log leaders Ngezi Platinum Stars by nine points ahead of the weekend fixtures.
“We just need a positive result on Sunday. The belief is there and we are in the championship mix.
“But there is still more work to be done; we can’t talk about the championship if we don’t win games.
“We have to win to be there in the mix.”
Today’s battle could be decided in the midfield, where DeMbare are expected to field Junior Makunike, Mudadi and Shandirwa.
Makepekepe are likely to throw in the experienced Chafa, Joseph Thulani and Blessing Sarupinda.
“It’s a game in which you should not make any silly mistakes,” said Elvis Moyo.
“There are a lot of experienced guys in this derby, so if you make mistakes, you are bound to get punished.”
Coincidently, the Harare derby is one of the many football derbies lined up across the world today.
Arsenal host Tottenham in the North London derby, Atletico Madrid clash with Real Madrid in the Laliga Madrid derby, while PSG host Marseille in Le Classique.
The famous Harare derby will be screened live on ZTN Prime at 3pm.
Black Rhinos v Manica Diamonds (Bata), Hwange v Highlanders (Colliery), Dynamos v CAPS United (National Sports)
* X: @LangtonGuraz