It’s Dynamos versus Dynamos . . . as Simba, DeMbare clash
Eddie Chikamhi-Senior Sports Reporter
DYNAMOS head coach Herbert Maruwa is not throwing caution to the wind as the Harare giants prepare to face struggling new boys Simba Bhora in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at the National Sports Stadium tomorrow.
Simba Bhora, who are playing in the Premiership football for the first time, have been viewed as a carbon copy of the Glamour Boys as they have in their ranks a host of former DeMbare players.
As many as eight ex-DeMbare players are now part of the Shamva side. The team is also home to Dynamos son Tonderai Ndiraya, who left the Harare giants during the off-season to join the new boys as their head coach.
And, it does not stop there. Simba Bhora’s current executive committee chairman Isaiah Mupfurutsa also crossed the floor recently to join the Shamva side.
Ndiraya and Mupfurutsa were apparently pushed out of the club and have a lot of emotional baggage on their shoulders ahead of the meeting with their former paymaster.
And, Maruwa, who recently replaced Ndiraya as DeMbare coach, yesterday reckoned it was always difficult facing familiar foes.
“It’s a tough match because a lot of guys who are there, including the coach and the chairman were once here and they have a point to prove,” said Maruwa.
Partson Jaure, who captained Dynamos last season, utility player Keith Murera, Blessing Moyo, Tichaona Chipunza, winger Ronald Chitiyo, goalkeeper Simba Chinani, Stephen Chatikobo and Luke Musikiri are all ex-DeMbare players at Simba Bhora.
Maruwa and his predecessor are not strangers to each other. The pair worked together at DeMbare as part of Callisto Pasuwa’s backroom staff during one of the club’s most successful periods a decade ago.
But whether they will have a brotherly reunion, or the kind of reception Ndiraya will get from the DeMbare fans tomorrow is a story for another day.
The two have experienced contrasting fortunes to the start of the current campaign. Maruwa got off to a flying start with his Dynamos after winning two straight games.
In fact, Dynamos are coming from one of their biggest victories in recent years after hammering Sheasham 4-0 in their last game at the National Sports Stadium.
They had gotten off to a positive start the previous week, with a 1-0 win over Hwange away at Barbourfields. And for a change, the Glamour Boys have managed to win back some of their fans with their entertaining game. “The mood is good. Yes, we won two games but it’s now water under the bridge,” said Maruwa.
“The team is looking good but it is going to be a tough match. Playing Simba is not an easy game. We need to be up there for us to get maximum points.
“The supporters are coming and it’s good for our football. Now we need to keep on winning and play good football to attract more fans.”
Ndiraya, on the other hand, encountered a difficult start, losing 1-2 to champions FC Platinum and then 0-1 to Chicken Inn in their last outing.
“It has been a difficult two weeks for us but also it’s a test of character. We need to be very strong. “As a newly promoted side we want to stay in the league. We want to survive relegation. We are not in the league to make up numbers. “I think in these two games we have shown that we can compete against the top teams in the country.
“We will try and get confidence from our performances and try to get a result in the next match against Dynamos, which will not be an easy one,” said Ndiraya.
Although they are new at this level, Simba Bhora have a competitive squad and the majority of their players have Premiership experience. They have the capacity to win against any team in the league on any given day.
Simba Bhora also welcomed back to fitness one of their star players Talent Chawapihwa, who had been down for the last two weeks with a hamstring injury he suffered in the opening game of the season against FC Platinum.
The story was different with DeMbare . The Glamour Boys suffered a blow after the man who scored their first goal of the season in the 1-0 win over Hwange, Tinashe Makanda, was ruled out of the upcoming fixture because of injury.
Makanda was taken out injured just moments after he was introduced as a second half substitute against Sheasham. Maruwa could not tell if there could be more casualties in his camp.
“We are still assessing the players but for now Makanda is out. We still have two more days of training so we can’t really say who else is out for now. Maybe by tomorrow we should have the correct information. But for now Makanda is out,” said Maruwa.