DeMbare, Caps lock horns

Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
PERENNIAL arch-rivals Dynamos and CAPS United, who are under new coaches, will tomorrow test their preparedness for the forthcoming season when they clash in the Sino-Zimbabwe Cement Cup at Rufaro. The match was arranged by the Chinese Federation of Zimbabwe to commemorate 35 years of bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China.

Winners will pocket $15 000 while $10 000 has been set aside for the losing team.

Interestingly, there has also been an exchange of players across the great divide with the former Makepekepe duo of Dominic Chungwa and Kenneth Bulaji tomorrow expected to don the blue-and-white jersey while Rodreck Mutuma features for Makepekepe.

Dynamos coach David Mandigora said he was looking forward to the match.

“It will be our first game in front of our supporters, so I think it’s a big challenge. To me there is no game that is less important than the other,” said Mandigora. “We take all games seriously and although this one is more of a preparatory match, we are taking it seriously. “The fans should come as usual and support us.

“They always help us carry the day and it’s important to note that they are important to us starting from now up to the end of the season.”

DeMbare this season will be without some of their key players like Ronald Chitiyo, Themba Ndlovu, Devon Chafa, Tawanda Muparati, Murape Murape and Thomas Mago- rimbo.

Former Young Warriors skipper Qadr Amini, Obey Mwerahari, Godknows Murwira, young goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga, Carlos Rusere, Thomas Kadyaridzire, Kudzanai Nyakasaka and Nigel Gandari, who is making a return to the Glamour Boys, are all in line for their debut match in front of supporters.

DeMbare appear to have been impressed by Ghanaian midfielder Eric Opoku and the player might also get a run-in tomorrow. “We are still looking at him. Maybe, next week that’s when we will finalise our squad,” said Mandigora. But it is Makepekepe who should have a more different outlook under their new coach Mark Harrison.

The Green Machine lost almost half the players who were in the starting line-up last year, including captain Tapiwa Khumbuyani and Soccer Star of the Year finalist Tendai Samanja.

The English coach will use tomorrow’s match to look at old and new players such as Carlos Mesi, Charles Mutero and Misheck Mburayi who have been training with the side in the last month.

Defenders Stephen Makatuka and Ronald Pfumbidzai are back in the fold after missing the early part of the preparations.

The return of the Malawian trio of Ishmael Thindwa, Gerald Phiri and George Nyirenda has also boosted the side.

“I think going into that game on Sunday, it will give me an idea of our targets. “Dynamos are one of the strongest clubs in the country, obviously. “So when we play them it will give us an idea of what we have and what we need to do and what we’ve got to push for. So it’s a good game to have and I’m looking forward to it.

“I think at the end of the day, whatever the outcome, it will give us an idea of where we stand at this moment and what work we’ve got to do to get to where we need to go,” said Har- rison.

The organisers said gate charges have been pegged at US$10 VVIP, US$5 upper grand stand and US$2 for the rest of the ground.

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