Ndiraya praises Chafa form

HARARE - Dynamos midfielder Milton Makopa must fight hard to reclaim his place in the team owing to Devon Chafa’s performance lately, says assistant coach Tonderai Ndiraya.

Makopa has missed the last four DeMbare matches through suspension and illness, paving way for Chafa to take up the anchoring role in midfield for the defending Castle Lager Premiership champions.

Chafa, who had a difficult start to the 2012 season, has grabbed the opportunity with both hands in the absence of Makopa, who had been one of the club’s influential players in their quest to defend their title.

Chafa marshalled the Dynamos midfield with aplomb in the mid-week 2-0 win over FC Platinum and followed up with another outstanding showing in the 4-0 demolition of Gunners at the weekend.  

“It’s good competition for the team but judging by the games he (Makopa) has played, he has been our first choice in that position,” Ndiraya said.

“He is not yet fit because of that chest infection and he’s undergoing some treatment, but Devon is playing well. There is no doubt about that.

“When Milton comes back, he has to fight very hard to get that jersey back. Devon is really doing well for the team. We miss Milton very much because he’s part of the team and his work rate is required. Hope he starts fighting for his jersey back.”

The win over Gunners carried Dynamos to 43 points on the log standings, just three behind log leaders Highlanders as the title run-in gathers full momentum.

And one of the encouraging signs for the Dynamos coaching staff at this stage of the season will be the return to form of such players as Chafa.

The former Kiglon and Eagles midfielder is showing maturity in all the facets of his game since regaining his place in the starting XI.

Playing in front of the back four, Chafa’s first duty is to give cover to the defence when his team loses possession, something he has done admirably.

When Dynamos win possession or restart the game, his role is to act as a distributor to the more gifted and attack-minded midfield partners, Tawanda Muparati and Denver Mukamba, who play in front of him.

This is where Chafa has excelled. He has kept it very simple, playing two touches at most before releasing the ball.

Unlike in the first half of the season before he lost his place in the team, Chafa tried to be adventurous and ended up losing possession.

His performances of late have not gone unnoticed, and Ndiraya was full of praise for the midfielder after the Gunners match.

The Dynamos defence, which has gone for four games without conceding a goal, also got special mention from the former club midfielder.

The defending champions last conceded a goal in the 1-1 draw with struggling Blue Rangers on August 12.

“These guys (defence) have done well and it’s not a secret that the team with the best defence normally wins the championship,” he said.

“We hope they continue with their performance and hopefully it will help us retain the championship at the end of the season. We want to keep the distance and like I said before, it’s still a long way to go and we still have a couple of difficult games to come. We want to keep on fighting and collect maximum points at every given opportunity, like what we did today (on Sunday).”

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