Dauda charms Arsenal legend

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s finest footballer of the just-ended year, Dennis Dauda is on trials at Azerbaijan club Galaba FK with former Arsenal captain Tony Adams reportedly fronting the deal.

The former Gunners defender was appointed Galaba coach in 2010 on a £1 million per-year deal but resigned in 2011 due to family commitments.

Adams, however, is still involved with the club as a talent spotter and adviser. The 48-year-old Arsenal legend was yesterday pictured with the ZPC Kariba defender in Qalaba after the team’s training session in which Dauda took part in.

Dauda was crowned Soccer Star of the Year for 2014 following a rock-solid season in which he nearly helped ZPC to the league title in only their maiden PSL season.

They were edged out for the title by records winners Dynamos on the final day.Apart from Adams, Dauda will also need to impress Galaba manager Roman Hryhorchuk.

GOING PLACES: ZPC Kariba defender Dennis Dauda, right, relaxes on the couch together with his Arsenal legend Tony Adams after a training session with a Azerbaijan Premeirship side Galaba yesterday.

Despite being only 10 years old, Galaba have established themselves as one of the leading Azerbaijan clubs.

Last season, they finished third in that country’s top flight league.   

The club was founded under the name of Goy Gol in July 1995, based in Goy Gol. However, in 2005 the team moved from Goy Gol to Qalaba and established under the same name.

The club had been a mid-table side in those early years but in 2013, Yuri Semin was appointed as new manager after signing £1 million per-year deal with the club.

Semin led the club to qualify for the Europa Cup after they reached the final of the Azerbaijan Cup where they to Neftchi Baku on penalties.

The Azerbaijan Premier League, currently named Topaz Premyer Liqasi after its main sponsor, is the top tier in Eastern European country.

The league is contested by 12 teams, in which the season runs from August to May. The winner gets a second round play-off spot in the Uefa Champions League.

Dauda came first while his teammates Tendai Hove and Limited Chikafa were crowned the first and second runners-up respectively in the Soccer Star of the Year vote.

The Kariba-based side, who were making their Premiership debut last season, completed a clean sweep of the accolades after their gaffer Saul Chaminuka was named the Coach of the Year.

Dauda’s induction as the country’s best player brought to an end the Glamour Boys’ three-year dominance on the top gong, having won the biggest award in the past three years.

If he makes the grade at Galaba, it will be a good stepping stone into the major European leagues for the Zimbabwean defender.

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