DeMbare begin preps

HARARE - Dynamos, eager to arrest last year’s disappointment of missing out on the championship, are scheduled to get back to serious business today when they re-group to begin preparations for the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership season.

The Glamour Boys fought an intriguing battle for the title last year with eventual winners FC Platinum in what appeared like a lost season for the former champions, having a relatively average squad made up of mostly misfits given. 

At the start of the 2017 season, most people expected DeMbare to struggle after releasing a number of senior players while they also lost several key players.

Roderick Mutuma, Stephen Alimenda and Jacob Muzokomba were all released and the club failed to keep hold of Brett Amidu, Godknows Murwira, Dominic Mukandi and star goalkeeper Tatenda Mkuruva, who signed for Absa Premiership side Cape Town City for free after running down his contract.

But coach Lloyd Mutasa, however, managed to turn around the Harare giants’ fortunes and went on to miss out on the title by just two points.

And while there is no room to celebrate mediocrity at the Glamour Boys, who have won a record 21 Zimbabwean titles, this second place finish feels more like success for those around the club.

And as the 2018 season beckons, DeMbare will re-group today for their first training session with a number of new signings expected and Mutasa is hopeful to assemble a competitive side that can surpass their last year’s achievements.

“We are starting our pre-season preparations tomorrow (today) and I am happy we seem to be in the right direction in as far as recruitment of players is concerned. We will be welcoming some new and old players ... and we expect everyone to heed the call,” Mutasa said.  

“You will have a clear picture of who has signed and who has not tomorrow (today). But from what we are trying to achieve this season, I am sure we are in the right direction. We have always said that as an institution we always want to do better than the previous season.

“So if we came second in the previous season we would obviously want to (move) forward and that is only by winning the championship. I believe we have proved we are capable and we are looking forward to a fruitful season.”

While Mutasa was not keen to discuss the new signings, Raphael Manuvire, Jimmy Tigere, Blessing Moyo and James Marufu are some of the players who have since signed for the Glamour Boys.

Manuvire joins DeMbare from ZPC Kariba while Tigere moves from Harare City who will be playing in the Zifa Northern Region Division One League this season after they were relegated on the last day of the 2017 season.

Moyo left Dynamos for Harare City in January 2016, before crossing the border to join South Africa’s Absa Premiership side Maritzburg but returned back home after the termination of his contract through mutual consent. 

Dynamos’ chances of tying down midfielder William Manondo from Harare City are increasingly looking slim after the Sunshine Boys indicated they are not willing to release any of their senior players. 

The Glamour Boys have, however lost gritty midfielder Tichaona Chipunza, who has since agreed terms with Ngezi Platinum Stars.

Chipunza, who was duly voted the club’s Most Consistent Player last season after playing in 33 out of 34 league games, is joining Ngezi as a free agent after failing to reach an agreement regarding contract renewal with DeMbare’s leadership.

Chipunza’s departure is a big blow for the Glamour Boys considering that he was one of the standout performers in the 2017 season.

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