IT was a tale of two Harare giants at the National Sports Stadium yesterday as Dynamos got down to business yesterday when they held their first session for the season.
Rivals CAPS United were meeting with their old players to map the way forward and address their grievances before they can start their pre-season training.
The Glamour Boys’ head coach David Mandigora assessed the players they have invited for trials and many others who wish to try their luck at the club.
Assistant coach Tonderayi Ndiraya was having fitness tests at the B arena with 23 players who have been retained from last season as well as the new players.
The trials will last for three days and the short-listed players would have a match with the club’s Under-20 tomorrow before the proper training for the club begins on Thursday.
Many players turned up for the trials with notable faces such as Misheck Mburayi, Charles Mutero, Simon Choenda, Ngonidzashe Maviri and Nicholas Guyo also trying their luck with the club.
Former Warriors player Newton Katanha also turned up for the trials and battled it out with the youngsters from lower divisions as all the players battled to impress Mandigora.
However, all the players would have to sweat it out for three before they know who would have the grade at the champions.
Dynamos have already unveiled a squad of 23 players for the new season which will get underway in the coming months.
The technical team is still keen to add three or four more players and is still hoping to have some of their old players who are still at the negotiating table with the club.
At yesterday’s session, Cliff Sekete, Stephen Alimenda, Fabrice Mbimba, Ocean Mushure and Washington Pakamisa were absent.
But the players are expected to join the rest of the team during the week as they have excused themselves due to some other pressing commitments.
“We had training with 23 players but it was not really training but fitness tests and we will have these for three days as well as the assessment of the players we have invited and would want to have a look at them.
“These are the ones that were working with the coach at Arena C. As for the rest of the squad I can say the level of fitness is quite reasonable and consistent with off season.
“All the players who came are those contracted to us and we are still waiting for those who are still negotiating,” said Ndiraya.
The former Dynamos forward said he was particularly pleased with the fitness of the new players thus Kelvin Bulaji, Godknows Murwira and Tonderai Mateyaunga.
“Their fitness is quite sound. We did sit ups, press ups and shuttle runs and the new players seem to be prepared. We will have proper training on Thursday,” he said.
CAPS United have been conducting trials in major towns and will round up their recruitment programme in Chitungwiza and Highfield this week.
The club says they have already signed 13 players.
Yesterday, the management and the technical team met at the National Sports Stadium with players who still have contracts from last season.
The club’s skipper Tapuwa Kumbuyani and Ronald Pfumbidzayi were not part of the proceedings while players such as Hardlife Zvirekwi, Dominic Chungwa, Tongai Mangwendere, Jorum Muchambo were present.
Other players who were present are David Chipala, Steven Makatuka, Takudzwa Mahori, Keith Chikotora, Ashwald Phiri, Clemence Zimhondi, Clemence Gobvu, Godknows Mangani, Moses Muchenje, Gerald Bello and Valentine Musarurwa.
Bello is returning from a loan spell at Masvingo United and might be a replacement for Khumbuyani if a deal is not secured.
The new team manager George Gumbo said it was his first day to meet the old players.
“Eighteen players turned up and there are some outstanding dues but they denied reports that they want out of the club and said it was the media which was blowing things out of proportion.
“They still want to play for CAPS United and their only grievance is that they are saying we should review their dues and what they are owed.
“Even Chungwa is here and said reports linking him to Dynamos are just rumours.
“The only players that have left CAPS United officially is Tendai Samanja and Kelvin Bulaji.
“After wrapping up our trials this week, all the new players would then be unveiled,” said Gumbo.
Club chief executive Joe Makuvire said they were expecting to start their training on January 19 as they would have finished addressing all outstanding issues.
Meanwhile, the stand-off between the Green Machine and nine of their players is likely to go for arbitration.
“The team addressed its players and they indicated that they don’t have money but would need time to consult their executive and they will meet with FUZ next week,” Football Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Paul Gundani said.
“We hope they will have a payment plan by next week as they are not likely to manage the lawsuits.”