DeMbare shut door on Epoupa

26 Jul, 2018 - 00:07 0 Views
DeMbare shut door on Epoupa Joel Ntouba Epoupa’

The Herald

Petros Kausiyo Deputy Sports Editor
CAMEROONIAN striker Christian Joel Ntouba Epoupa’s romance with Dynamos has come to an end, with the new Glamour Boys leadership closing the door on a possible revival of their partnership.

Dynamos officials have been trying to bring back the Cameroonian forward, who was the club’s best striker last year, before he ended his relationship with the Harare giants prematurely earlier this year.

Epoupa was unhappy with DeMbare’s failure to pay him his dues and terminated his contract with the club and returned to Cameroon.

However, the new leadership at the club have been trying to get the player back to play for them this season.

But new club president Solomon Sanyamandwe revealed yesterday that the door had been closed.

“I don’t think Christian is coming back. We will pay him what he is still owed by the club and we would rather look elsewhere for some strikers in preparation for 2019 season,’’ he said.

“Of course, there has been a general shortage of quality strikers across the board if you look at our Premiership and that is why we are considering looking elsewhere for players.’’

Epoupa appeared to have been continuously shifting goalposts on his demands for a return to Dynamos.

While the Epoupa chapter is now closed, coach Lloyd Mutasa was last night set to receive the united backing of the club’s chiefs. Mutasa has increasingly come under the spotlight for the wrong reasons following Dynamos’ indifferent run which has left the Harare giants bereft of any glamour or swagger.

They have already lost eight times this season, effectively ruling them out of contention for the championship title, as they are 24 points behind leaders FC Platinum who have amassed 46 points from 20 matches.

In a bid to bring stability to the club and start efforts to turn around the ailing giants, the Dynamos board appointed a new management crew led by banker Isaiah Mupfurutsa.

But with results on the pitch still elusive following a three-match winless run – including last Sunday’s 1-0 reverse to Ngezi Platinum – the heat has once again turned to Mutasa, with whom even the club’s fans are losing patience.

The Dynamos management have also stepped in to try and stem the slide, even turning to wayward midfielder Denver Mukamba, whom they ordered to return to training on Tuesday, with the hope he can help spark their revival.

Mukamba obliged and trained with the team, but there was no doubting that the tension triggered by the sensational fallout between the player and the coach remains visible in the Dynamos camp. Dynamos president Sanyamandwe, while not giving away much ahead of last night’s meeting, confirmed they were meeting with the coach.

“Yes, there is a meeting with the coach which will also be attended by the board. We have resolved that we will not put pressure on him and, if anything, we are working to bring in some players to strengthen the team.

“We want to have a strong finish to the season, but like I said, we are not going to put pressure on the coach and blame everything on him,’’ Sanyamandwe said.

The Dynamos president also said they had noted the need to give Mutasa a free rein to also select his own assistants.

Juniors coach Lloyd Chigowe is the assistant, but the former national Under-17 gaffer was elevated to the senior team during the period when Mutasa had been demoted to handle the development portfolio.

“Mutasa should be given the chance to pick his own assistants and not for us to impose some people on him.

“The coach should not feel like he is being set up to fail, he must get all the support he can get and thereafter people can evaluate and see how he would have performed.

“We all know that he did not get all the players he would have wanted and that is what we are working on now.

“In fact, we have already started working on strengthening the team for the 2019 season.

“But before that we want to make sure we help the coach to do well in the remaining games of this season, starting with our match against Highlanders, and I think our supporters will see the change,’’ Sanyamandwe said.

If indications by the Dynamos president are anything to go by, then Chigowe could, after the weekend’s Premiership break, revert to his development duties where he was working with former captain Murape Murape in identifying and nurturing talent.

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