Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS coach Paulo Jorge Silva says Portuguese midfielder Carlos Alexandre Mendes Branco is not guaranteed a place in his team and has challenged his compatriot to fight for his jersey in the Glamour Boys. Branco arrived in the country at the weekend and is currently on trials with the Harare giants at the recommendation of the new coach, who is seeking to beef up his side ahead of the kick off of the 2016 season early next month.
Silva has spoken highly of Branco and is hopeful that the Portuguese player will be part of his side for the next two or more seasons although a deal has not been struck yet.
The midfielder was introduced to the supporters on Sunday when Dynamos played ZPC Kariba in the quarter-final of the ZNA Charities match and has since started training with the Glamour Boys.
“Carlos is now part of the training and I have made it clear that he has to fight for his place in the team. It doesn’t matter that he is Portuguese or where he is coming from, he has to prove himself on the pitch.
“But what I know about him is that he is a good player, a disciplined boy and it will depend with the management what type of contract they will offer him.
“But I would like to have him for at least two years so that he plays in the Champions League. I am 90 percent sure we will win the championship this year and play in Africa, He can be an instrument,” said Silva.
According to Silva, Branco is coming from Portuguese third division side AE Óbidos and has had a background of youth football with English teams.
Branco will be part of the 27-member squad that leaves for Malawi this morning for two pre-season friendly matches against giants Nyasa Big Bullets.
DeMbare will play the Malawian champions in Blantyre on Saturday. The clubs will clash again 24 hours later in Lilongwe. Silva said he is happy with the opportunity for the friendly matches as he is keen to fine tune his side following last Sunday’s 1-0 defeat by ZPC Kariba in the quarter-final of the ZNA Charities Shield.
“I could see last Sunday that our team is not yet there. We still have some areas we need to work on before the start of the season so we have intensified our training in the last two days because we are going to play two matches in Malawi.
“I believe this tour will be worth it since we are going to play good opponents. I am told they (Big Bullets) are a good team, if it wasn’t for that we shouldn’t be going. We would rather have stayed and worked on our shortcomings here. So we look forward to this trip.
“The boys are happy. I have 27 players with me and everyone is going. For the record I have two more juniors whom we have added, a goalkeeper and a striker.
“Everyone is happy. They are working very hard and all the players are fighting for places in the team, which is something that I want to see the whole of the season,” said Silva.
Apart from big forward Takesure Chinyama who is nursing an injury, the DeMbare technical side have sought to travel with all their players and are looking to give them chances to play in Malawi. Teenage midfielder Musa Madhiri is also carrying a knock but will travel.
“Takesure is still recovering from his injury. He hasn’t been okay for the last two to three weeks and he went for another examination yesterday (Tuesday) and is now waiting for the results from the doctor. The results will be out by Monday so he can’t travel and has to continue with the physiotherapy.
“Madhiri also has a knock but it’s not a serious one. We are traveling with him although he will not play any match there. I believe, just like many of us, he will learn many things there,” said Silva.