BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
HARARE giants Dynamos insist that the club’s recent acquisitions are part of coach Tonderai Ndiraya’s wish-list following reports that the executive had hijacked the signing of new players at the institution ahead of the 2020 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League campaign.
DeMbare, who flew into the transfer business no sooner had the window opened, have brought in experienced defender Partson Jaure, who featured for Manica Diamonds last year, Nkosilathi Mhlanga from Yadah FC as well as youngsters Tanaka Chidhobha and Lennox Mutsetse.
After a dismal 2019 season in which the club finished a distant ninth in the league with Ndiraya constantly complaining about the quality at his disposal throughout the forgettable campaign, Dynamos were expected to go big on the transfer market by luring
So far the club’s transfer activity has been subject to mockery and ridicule in football circles, a situation exacerbated by reports that Ndiraya has distanced himself from the new signings.
And the manner in which some of the signings have been unveiled has left a lot to be desired. However, Dynamos chairman Isaiah Mupfurutsa has defended the club’s approach in the transfer market.
“We are dreaming big this season. We want to compete strongly and fight for top three. But it’s all dependent on this transfer window because we have to make the right acquisitions. The coach has come up with his wish-list and we are trying to get him what he asked for,” Mupfurutsa told Standardsport.
“Contrary to what people are saying, as an executive we do not interfere with the coach’s job. We are only targeting the players that the coach has given us to help him achieve the goals we have set for him. He has a plan and we are here to support that plan.”
Mupfurutsa said it was Ndiraya who identified and recommended the signing of Mutsetse and Chidhobha as well as the return of Jaure to the club.
“It is the coach who has been pushing us to sign the youngsters. They are long-term signings because as a club we want to have continuity, we also want to blend youth and experience,” he said.
“We need young players that we can develop so that we can sell them to Europe, which is why we have adopted a strong emphasis on young players. We also have a vibrant junior policy that should start to bear fruit in the near future because we can’t be buying a new team very season.”
Ndiraya, who is currently on holiday, was not keen to discuss the club’s recent acquisitions referring questions to the club’s marketing and public relations officer Tinashe Farawo and vice-chairman Moses Shumba.
“I can’t talk about transfers. You should call Farawo or Shumba who is the one heading the committee responsible for the club’s transfers. I gave them my wish-list in August last year and I can only know about the progress when I get back to work,” Ndiraya said.
A massive clear-out is expected at Dynamos for a second consecutive season following speculation that a number of players, who failed to perform last season would be released.
Veteran midfielder Archford Gutu is likely to move on after his short-term contract with the club ran out last month, while there are also reports that
Godknows Murwira will return to FC Platinum.
Other players such as Godfrey Mukambi, Ali Maliselo and Simbarashe Chinani are believed to be on their way out.
Edward Sadomba hung up his boots at the end of last season.
Contrary to speculation that striker Evans Katema was free to leave the club with CAPS United and FC Platinum touted among the potential suitors, Mupfurutsa revealed that the fomer Mushowani Stars marksman still has a year to serve as a Dynamos player.
“Katema is a Dynamos player; he has a contract with us, which has another year to run. If there is any club interested in the player they should negotiate with us, but so far none have come so I don’t know where that is coming from. The only thing about the player is that we agreed on a staggered signing-on fee which we are currently discussing otherwise the contract binds him to us,” said the Dynamos chairman.
Dynamos are expected to make high-profile signings as the transfer window progresses with the club looking to conclude business early to allow for adequate preparations for the season.
Unlike in the past, the traditional giants of local football have been struggling to attract top players in recent years due to an ever shrinking financial muscle.
Could it be that the marquee signing has not yet arrived for Dynamos due to financial handicap?
“It all comes to the issue of resources. We are not owned by a big corporate, we survive from sponsors, well-wishers, gate takings and selling of players which makes it difficult for us going into the market. I cannot dispute that it’s a challenge that we are facing along with other traditional giants,” Mupfurutsa said.
In the past three years, Dynamos have had to resort to holding trials at the start of the season to beef up the squad.