DeMbare gear up for title defence

HARARE - Defending Castle Premiership champion Dynamos have vowed to hold on to their crown jealously when the 2014 season kicks-off this weekend.

DeMbare get their campaign rolling with a tricky away trip to Bulawayo to face their bogey side How Mine at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday and team manager Richard Chihoro feels the Glamour Boya are ready for the challenge.

“As the defending champions all the teams will raise their game when they play against us and I’m confident we are not going let go of the title we have won in the past three years,” Chihoro told the Daily News yesterday.

DeMbare have been the team to beat in the league in recent years, winning the title three years in a row under coach Calisto Pasuwa.

Last season, the Glamour Boys beat Highlanders and Harare City to the title on goal difference after an exciting run-in.

But starting the new season with a tie against How Mine could prove to be a banana skin for the Harare giants.

In the first half of last season, DeMbare convincingly beat the gold miners 3-0 at Rufaro Stadium courtesy of a hat-trick from Takesure Chinyama.

How Mine, however, overturned the table with a 1-0 win in the reverse fixture before going on to defeat Dynamos in the semi-finals of the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

Chihoro is adamant the gold miners will not repeat such feats this time around.

“They beat us once in the league and also knocked us out of the cup. They are a good side but this season things should change,” he said.

“We are confident of going to Barbourfields to play some good football and emerge with a positive result.”

DeMbare will have to go to Bulawayo without midfielder Masimba Mamabre, who picked up an ankle injury at the weekend in the Independence Trophy semi-final victory over Harare City.

The former Highlanders star was scheduled to go for a scan yesterday and only after that will the club know for how long he will be out of action.

DeMbare will also have to do without striker Clive Kawinga, who has been sidelined with injury since last month.

Defender Partson Jaure, who is serving a seven-match ban, is also unavailable for the first six matches of the season.

Jaure, who was sanctioned for his unsporting behaviour during a league match against Highlanders in Bulawayo last season, missed the last game of last season against Black Mambas as he began serving his ban.

Both clubs will be hoping to bounce back from disappointing African inter-club competition campaigns during the off-season.

Dynamos were booted out of the African Champions League in the first round stage after losing 1-0 on aggregate to Democratic Republic of Congo side AS Vita last month.

How Mine also bowed out of the African Confederation Cup in the second round after going down 3-2 on aggregate to Nigerian side Bayelsa United at the weekend.

Fixtures

Saturday: Bantu Rovers v Black Rhinos (Luveve, 1300hrs, SS9), Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve, 1530hrs, SS9), Chapungu v Highlanders (Ascot).

Sunday: Hwange v Buffaloes (Colliery), How Mine v Dynamos (Barbourfields, SS9), Shabanie Mine v Triangle United (Maglas), Chiredzi v FC Platinum (Gibbo), CAPS United v ZPC Kariba (Gwanzura).

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