Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
AMBITIOUS Harare City continued to raid the Dynamos dressing room and yesterday the Sunshine Boys swooped on exciting Warriors defender Blessing “Bisto’’Moyo when they snatched the right-back on Confederation of African Football deadline day.
Harare City will be taking their bow in continental football when they compete in the Confederation Cup next month.
The Sunshine Boys confirmed yesterday that they had signed Moyo just days after they had captured influential midfielder Ronald “Rooney” Chitiyo from Dynamos.
Harare City have been as busy as CAPS United and Chicken Inn in strengthening their squad for the Confederation Cup and their capture of Moyo and Chitiyo is a major gain at the expense of former champions DeMbare.
DeMbare must now be worried about the departures of key players amid indications that vice-captain Ocean Mushure could be leaving, while goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi has already made public that he is not extending his contract at the Harare giants.
But while the DeMbare camp appears in disarray, it is a different story for Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro as he prepares to return to the African game, having been part of the Monomotapa technical crew when they featured in the 2009 Champions League.
Mangwiro yesterday said he was happy with his outfit for next season, with the Sunshine Boys having a 26-man squad for the CAF register.
Harare City have also brought on board Jimmy Tigere from Triangle, Young Warriors defender Edwin Madhananga and Soccer Star of the Year finalist Raphael Manuvire from ZPC Kariba.
Mangwiro said he was happy with their latest catch, Moyo, who arrives as the solution to City’s woes in the right-back position where Mangwiro had resorted to fielding former striker Takudzwa Chimwemwe last season.
“Of course, I am happy Blessing is now part of us. It’s all about reinforcing the team and we can only wish all those players who have joined us good luck. We look forward to having a good working relationship in 2016,” said Mangwiro.
“It’s quite a formidable squad and we would want to do well not only in Africa, but on the local front as well. That is why we had to bring in new players to beef up our squad.
“We would want to believe that these guys will give full value to the team. The only disappointment we faced probably was that of Talent Chawapihwa who has indicated that he wants to move on after his contract had expired.”
Harare City are set to play in Africa for the first time after they won the ticket to represent Zimbabwe by beating Dynamos 2-1 in the final of the Chibuku Super Cup.
They have been drawn to play AS Adema of Madagascar in the preliminary round, with Zambia’s Zanaco waiting in ambush in the first round.
The Sunshine Boys have managed to retain most of their top players who include Francisco Zekumbawira, Martin Vengesai, Themba Ndlovu, Tendai Samanja, William Manondo, James Jam, Arnold Chivheya, Tafadzwa Dube and Maxwell Nyamupangedengu.
They also promoted juniors Tanaka Ruzvidzo, Dexter Mawere and Jerry Chipanga into the senior team.
The club however, had to sacrifice players such as Osborne Mukuradare, Timire Mamvura, Munashe Chinembeza and skipper David Kutyauripo, who has now taken up a post as a juniors coach.
Their young goalkeeper Kevin Shangiwa is also set to be sent away on loan.
Mangwiro is now looking for an all-round performance by his charges next season.
“Our conversion wasn’t good in the league last season but in cup competitions it was a different scenario. So we thought we needed more creativity in midfield. That is why we brought playmakers Ronald and Raphael to energise that department.
“We have let Osbourne Mukuradare go but I believe our strikers can do the job. So we decided to give them a chance.
“Last season we couldn’t perform as much as we had wanted with winning the Chibuku Super Cup probably being the only atonement. But we can only hope for the best in 2016,” said Mangwiro.
But while City are celebrating their scoops, giants Dynamos were left lamenting their losses. The Glamour Boys president, Kenny Mubaiwa, yesterday said they were taken by surprise when they heard that Moyo had dumped the giants and opted for City.
Mubaiwa said they had expected the Warriors right-back to put pen to paper yesterday only to be told he has decided to move on with his career elsewhere.
Harare City are also understood to have dangled a bigger carrot which Moyo found too good to resist.
“Honestly we were taken by surprise because we have been talking to this boy since June and we had agreed that he would sign a contract extension. But then he has been dilly-dallying. Then recently he told us that a man standing as his manager, a certain Mugoni, was pressing him to go to Harare City.
“But then his contract was expiring today and when we had expected him to come that’s when we saw this Mugoni coming to tell us that Moyo has gone to Harare City.
“As a club we cannot stand in any player’s way if he decides to move but in the case of Blessing we want our development fees. He has been through our juniors and we developed him. So we will meet Harare City when they come for his clearance,” said Mubaiwa.
Besides Moyo, the Glamour Boys have also parted ways with Chitiyo and are also likely to lose goalkeeper Mukandi, who has indicated he will not renew his contract.
Defender Mushure still has a year on his contract but he is understood to be pushing for an exit.
However, Mubaiwa believes DeMbare, who would be seeking to reclaim the league title next season, will be able to stand their ground despite the off-season shaking they are experiencing.
“Of course it’s a setback that we have lost the two players but we cannot mourn forever. We are a big institution and we will never run short of quality. If one player goes it will surely open the doors for new stars to be born.
“Dynamos provides the ideal platform for that. Imagine we had good players like Denver Mukamba, Cuthbert Malajila, Tawanda Muparati, Washington Arubi but they all went when we needed them and yet we managed to remain a top team in Zimbabwe.
“Actually I’m not happy with the so-called player managers because most of them are negotiating in bad faith. Probably, the only professional person we have ever dealt with is Gibson Mahachi. That guy is straightforward and I admire his way of doing business,” said Mubaiwa.