Mutuma nears DeMbare exit

HARARE - Following two fruitful seasons in the Zimbabwean top flight league, Dynamos striker Rodreck Mutuma is now on the verge of making an emotional exit from the popular Harare club.

Mutuma moved a step closer to landing a contract at South African Premiership outfit Bloemfontein Celtic after impressing during his trial stint at the Free State club.

Celtic have been assessing Mutuma since last week and it emerged yesterday Phunye Selesele is now ready to sign him.

“He has been doing well and is very impressive at training. Things are looking positive but we will only make a final decision about him next week," Celtic coach Clinton Larsen told Kick-Off yesterday.

This endorsement from Larsen will only increase the forward’s chances of earning a move to the Super Diski after two very successful seasons with the record 19-times Zimbabwe champions.

Mutuma joined DeMbare from lower division side Sporting Manhenga at the beginning of the 2011 season.  

The forward had a fairy-tale debut season in the top flight, scoring 14 goals to win the 2011 Castle Premiership Golden Boot.

His exploits in the season helped DeMbare to a league and cup double.

Mutuma then had a difficult start to the 2012 season as he found himself relegated to the bench owing to the arrival of the free-scoring Takesure Chinyama at the club.

He, however, worked his way back into the Dynamos squad in the last half of the season and scored some vital strikes as the Glamour Boys successful retained both the league title and Mbada Diamonds Cup.

Mutuma’s exploits attracted the interest of Celtic, who have been on the hunt for a proven striker.

The gangly forward’s departure will come as bitter blow to Dynamos, who are preparing for this year’s edition of the African Champions League.

Mutuma was one of the experienced forwards in the Glamour Boys’ Champions League squad after having featured in the competition for the past two years.

The club desperately needs such experience in their quest to reach the lucrative mini-league stage of the competition.

Dynamos are also likely to lose forward Simba Sithole, who is currently undergoing trials at Pretoria-based side SuperSport.

Sithole and Mutuma formed a formidable striking combination in the homestretch of last season following Chinyama’s mid-season departure for Orlando Pirates.

Currently, the only recognisable striker taking part in the DeMbare pre-season preparations is rookie forward Farai Mupasiri.

The former Lomagundi College student acquitted himself admirably in his debut season at the club last term, but stepping up to the Champions League might be a bridge too far.

DeMbare are also battling to secure bustling forward Francisco Zekumbawire from Hwange. The deal has dragged on with no end in sight.

This has left the Glamour Boys slightly thin upfront, and in a recent interview with the Daily News, club chairperson Kenny Mubaiwa said they will use proceeds from the sale of Mutuma and Sithole to bring in replacements.

The Harare giants will face Lesotho Correctional Services in the Champions League preliminary round early next month.

If Dynamos get past LCS as largely expected, they will meet either Al Ittihad of Libya or Tunisians CA Bizertin in the first round.

In the final qualifying round, if they pull through to it, they are likely to meet reigning African champions Al Ahly of Egypt.

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