Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS coach Lloyd Mutasa faces yet another taxing rebuilding exercise as the Harare giants once again find themselves in a fix ahead of the start of the Premiership season, with a number of key players’ future with the club uncertain. In what is seemingly becoming a tradition at DeMbare, the club has battled to tie down players to long-term contracts or renew deals that will be facing expiry.
Last year, Mutasa had to resort to holding trials and put together a side of virtual unknowns as Dynamos had faced a player exodus at the end of 2016. The former Dynamos midfielder is facing the same prospects of having to hunt for players through a gruelling process of staging trials after it emerged that the future of a host of players who helped the club finish second in the championship race remains uncertain.
To compound Mutasa’s woes, the Dynamos management are still to meet to plan for the 2018 season which has meant the coach cannot conclude any deals with any of the out-of-contract players yet.
Club secretary-general Webster Marechera admitted yesterday that Dynamos are still to hit the ground in terms of their preparation for the new season, a move that also seems to fly in the face of the Harare giants’ pledge to come back stronger in 2018 and fight for the championship. Dynamos narrowly lost the title race to FC Platinum, stretching the Zvishavane miners to the wire in a riveting race that also featured Ngezi Platinum and Chicken Inn.
One of the players who starred for Dynamos in 2017 and whose future at the Glamour Boys is now at the crossroads is Zimbabwe youth international Peace Makaha. Makaha has reverted to being a Divine Soccer Academy player, citing serious breach of contract by Dynamos during a three-year loan stint.
The 20-year-old, who was voted DeMbare’s Most Improved Player last year, may not continue beyond the 2017 season if the Harare giants fail to reach an agreement with his handlers in the coming weeks.
It emerged yesterday that the Glamour Boys have not paid the versatile player his signing-on fees in full, outstanding salaries and they have constantly defaulted on the transfer fee of $6 000 they agreed to pay to Divine Soccer Academy for the services of the player in 2015. The fees were supposed to be settled in $2 000 instalments each year for the three years that Makaha was at Dynamos, but the Harare giants have not played ball.
Divine Soccer Academy Technical Director Newsome Mutema confirmed yesterday that Makaha is back at their academy while they are hoping to make headway with the Dynamos management. Mutema said Makaha is keen on another stint in the blue-and-white stripe, but was concerned with his welfare which appeared to be neglected. The Divine Academy director accused the DeMbare management of playing hide-and-seek with them.
“As it stands, Peace has no choice, he has reverted to Divine Soccer Academy. Dynamos have not been forthcoming even as we have been trying frantically to initiate talks with them in the last few days. It seems all our efforts are falling on deaf ears. So we may be forced to look elsewhere. The truth with Peace is that he still wants to play for Dynamos, it’s the club of his heart, but then he is also a family man. You cannot bring commitment to the table when you go home to face your family.
“If you are employed and you have a family looking up to you as the breadwinner you have to deliver. Remember football is such a short and unpredictable career. It can end any time, so the players should be remunerated on time.
“That’s the situation Peace finds himself in. He is a footballer by profession. The doors are still open for Dynamos but any club that may be interested in his services should come forward for talks,” said Mutema.
Makaha joined Dynamos as a rookie in 2015 but grew to prominence last season when DeMbare lost a number of key players and had to start rebuilding under Mutasa. Mutasa has indicated that he still wants the former Young Warriors man to be part of his project. However, the Harare giants have not started planning for 2018 yet.
Marechera said they are still to hold their pre-season meeting when they expect to get the recommendations from the coach. Time is however, not on their side as they also have to negotiate with some other key players whose contracts expired on December 31.
Although Dynamos have the right of first refusal on Makaha according to the deal penned in 2015, Mutema said Divine Soccer Academy will not hesitate to entertain enquiries from other clubs that may be interested in their player.
“I think the big clubs should honour development. There are a lot of resources, both material and monetary, invested in developing a single player. That is why many big clubs are failing to do that. There is a lot involved, so they should appreciate that as academies that is the only way we make sure that there is continuity.
“We need the resources to keep the project running; that is our only way of survival as an academy. But if we don’t not get paid for the services then it means the project may as well crumble and it spells doom for the potential talents that we have in our system,” said Mutema.
Divine Soccer Academy was formed in 2014 and they have also produced players like Samuel Makawa, who has been on the rise since he joined ZPC Kariba two years ago. They also have a number of players in the Division One and Division Two leagues.
Apart from Makaha, DeMbare must seal the deals with defender Obey Mweraharai, winger Cleopas Kapupurika who was on loan to them from FC Platinum and gritty midfielder Tichaona Chipunza. Seasoned midfielder Masimba Mambare’s future is also not yet clear.