Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe defender Ocean Mushure had a year to forget last season but things are beginning to shape up for the ex-Dynamos captain who hopes to perform his swansong in Zambia.
The 2017 Soccer Star of the Year runner-up signed a two-year contract with Zambian Super League club Lusaka Dynamos and immediately joined the side on their pre-season trip to South Africa where he also featured in three practice games over the festive holidays.
The 33-year-old briefly returned home before going back to Zambia on Thursday to prepare for the transitional MTN/FAZ Super League which kicks-off later this month.
By his own admission, his final year at Harare giants Dynamos was largely frustrating. He played a small part in the campaign and eventually forced his way out after the club failed to settle his dues amounting to $26 000 in signing-on fees and bonuses.
“Dynamos always has a special place inside my heart. I had no choice but to leave because I have a family to look after. It wasn’t wise to continue playing for nothing because I am nearing the end of my career.
“I know I have taken a new challenge but this is also an opportunity to demonstrate what I am capable of because I feel I need to take my career back to the top. The coaches are happy with the way I play and I am training hard.
“Last year it was depressing for me because of things that were happening at Dynamos. I am in a new environment and I am enjoying it. I would like to give my all for the team to attain its objectives.
“I am happy we also have (another Zimbabwean player) Dennis Dauda. He is making everything easy because he is playing in the central defence and I am on the left but sometimes I am pushed into the link.
“We had a very good camp in South Africa and it has really helped us in terms of bonding with our teammates. I must say the club is a bit organised.
“Things are a lot different here. Almost everything is done by the book. If you are late for training, your match fees are deducted and so on,” said Mushure.
The former DeMbare captain is aiming to win silverware with the modest Zambian club that is owned by businessman Hanif Adam.
Many Zimbabwean players have of late been flocking to Zambia, which previously has not been a favourite destination for many.
Mushure had no kind words for his former club DeMbare who have been in decline over the last few years. The defender believes the management has been letting down the former champions, who had to fight hard to survive relegation last year.
“The players should keep fighting to save the brand. But Dynamos should strive to do things in a professional manner.
“I think the executive let us down last year. We had finished second in 2017 and we were all convinced that we were going to fight for the title.
“But they did the unthinkable by letting our key players go when we needed to maintain the team and then add one or two players to fight for the title.
“We were beginning to understand each other and for us to lose all those players it was a big blow.
“Look at the likes of FC Platinum, they are winning trophies because they have had basically the same team for the past four or so seasons.
“The argument that the club has no money to keep players shouldn’t be tolerated at a club like Dynamos. That team is a big brand and is capable of making money because it needs the stability.
“It is the management’s duty to look for the ways to make the money and the players’ duty is to deliver on the pitch.
“It’s like a see-saw where both sides have to give their input to keep it rocking. But if the failure starts with management then what do you expect from the players?
“In 2017 we even competed for second place with a club like Ngezi Platinum who have everything yet we were not paid bonuses for 14 of our games by the time the season ended.
“We just played for the love of the club,” said Mushure.