The Sunday Mail
Langton Nyakwenda —
DENVER MUKAMBA, the man Lloyd Mutasa believes can spearhead a new-look Dynamos side, has fallen from grace and many believe he is beyond redemption.
This has made the 24-year-old desperate to set the stage alight as could be seen by his frantic show last Sunday as he tried to stitch play together. That desperate effort could not save Dynamos from falling 0-1 to FC Platinum.
Overal, it was decent show from Mukamba but tactical discipline was lacking, and the midfielder found himself generating more heat than light as he was nothing more than a frenzied nuisance to the opposition as he ran all over the park.
But as Dynamos brace for today’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Triangle, Mutasa has reaffirmed his belief that Mukamba can reproduce the kind of form that made him the toast of the Premiership five seasons ago.
“We have tried all we can to panel beat Denver in the areas we felt he was lacking, especially the problem of remonstrating against referees’ decisions or just shouting at officials, which is totally uncalled for,” said the DeMbare gaffer.
Mutasa has even visited Mukamba’s grandmother, Gogo Kawinga, in Harare’s Highfield suburb all in a bid to get the midfielder focused and firing.
Officials in the Dynamos dressing room say Mukamba has started behaving like a senior player and is now one of the first people to report for the weekly gym sessions.
Last season Mukamba regularly went AWOL but things have changed and the 2012 Soccer Star of the Year has set himself a 15-goal target for this term.
“I have realised that I have more responsibilities now. When I first joined Dynamos in 2011 I was a small boy and would get away with the odd bad game but now I am one of the leader’s of this team and have to lead by example,” he said.
“A lot of things have happened in my career and sometimes I have misbehaved but it’s also true that some allegations that are levelled against me are false.
“However, what is fact is that I need to make a fresh start. I know DeMbare fans expect a lot from me and I can’t let them down.”
Mukamba appears to have already won over the dressing room.
New arrivals at Dynamos Quality Kangadze, Gift Saunyama and Cleopas Kapupurika hero worship him, while youngsters like Peace Makaha and King Nasama look up to Mukamba as a role model.
They all believe in Mukamba’s capability to inspire a change of fortunes at DeMbare and their belief is spurring the former Kiglon man on.
The new-look Dynamos was unfortunate to lose their season opener and make the trip to Gibbo with Mutasa impressed with the improvements he is seeing in Mukamba.
“I have personally told him what I expect from him because the youngsters who are coming up are looking up to him There are signs of improvement but this is a new journey that is about to start,” said Mutasa.
Although Dynamos lost their opening match, fans are optimistic that things will click soon – perhaps starting in Chiredzi today.
Mukamba shares the same optimism.
“I believe 2017 will be a better season for us. I am aware fans are not happy but we are beginning a new journey and I think fans should give us the chance to prove ourselves. We have some exciting youngsters but they must also show character … that never-say-die DeMbare spirit should always be in the team,” he said.