Monoz 'fend-off' Dynamos

HARARE - Monomotapa have vowed to retain most of their key players who steered them to a remarkable 2012 season, fending off interest from bigger local clubs, particularly champions Dynamos.   

 Midfielder Tendai Ngulube, the striking duo of Tawanda Nyamandwe and Osborne Mukuradare as well as goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi will be free agents at the end of this year.

And due to their overwhelming contribution to Monoz’ season in both league and cup competitions, the quartet has attracted interest from different clubs locally and across the border.

Champions Dynamos are said to be ready to make a move for striker Tawanda Nyamandwe and goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi if they get any indication the pair is not entirely happy at Monoz.

However, Monomotapa chairman Joseph Mukoki said he was “positive” of retaining the club’s key players ahead of their return to continental football next season.

Monomotapa are lined up to represent the country during next year’s Confederation of African Football (Caf) Confederation Cup by virtue of being Mbada Diamonds Cup finalists for 2012.

The 2009 Zimbabwe champions impressed in their maiden continental appearance after reaching the group stage of the African Champions League in 2010, so will be keen to go into next year’s Confederation Cup with a balanced squad, hence the unwillingness to part with key players.

 “We are currently in talks with them, a sign that we still need them,” Mukoki said.

 “But in the end they will make their decisions. It’s difficult really when it comes to monetary issues. We are a club that thrives on team work, we would rather avail funds for the whole team rather let all that money go to one person.”

 Mukoki said the club is encouraged by the response of the players to their offers.

 “The response is positive but of course they have their demands,” he said.

 Goalkeeper Mukandi is due to play an appeals fee of $5 000 as a fine following his involvement and subsequent pardon in the Asiagate scandal after having been found, alongside several other players and officials, guilty of match-fixing and illegal betting.

 Zifa has set the deadline for fines for end of December.

 Asked if Monomotapa would assist Mukandi in paying the fine, Mukoki said:

 “Look we obviously want to help Arty but it’s a difficult situation. It’s up to his managers.”

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