Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
IT’S now official — Tafadzwa Rusike and Ronald Chitiyo are now Dynamos players after penning one-year deals with the Harare giants yesterday.
The Premiership soccer kings have spent the last three weeks trying to tie the Zimbabwe internationals down to deals and even had to shake off pressure from rivals Harare City who were after Chitiyo.
The Glamour Boys had provisionally registered the pair for the Champions League when they opened negotiations with the players’ management team.
But after a prolonged period of talks Rusike and Chitiyo’s manager Edzai Kasinauyo, emerged from the discussions yesterday to reveal that they had agreed to one-year deals for each of the players. DeMbare could make yet another big move as it emerged that negotiations to bring former Highlanders midfielder Masimba Mambare to the Glamour Boys are currently underway, despite denials by the club’s management yesterday.
Mambare’s two-year contract with Highlanders expired at the end of the year and the Zimbabwe international, who is currently with the national team preparing for the African Nations Championship, is yet to make up his mind. However, Dynamos secretary-general Webster Chikengezha said he could only confirm the arrival of Chitiyo and Rusike to take the number of their squad to 26 players on their official list at Caf.
“We have signed-one year contracts which are subject to renewal. We had already submitted the names to Caf and I think now we have a fairly balanced squad. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get another striker but the coaches can still make recommendations which can be followed up.
“Depending on the response we get from Zifa over the request to have five more players, we will see how we can work around the squad,” said Chikengezha.
Dynamos were excited after finally agreeing terms with Rusike who has been a long-term target for the Glamour Boys. Rusike trained with the Glamour Boys last year when he was released by South African side Ajax Cape Town but the diminutive winger could not sign as the negotiations were inconclusive.
They also managed to beat rivals Harare City to the signature of Chitiyo who joins them from relegated side Monomotapa. It is believed that the two parties agreed on a clause which state that in the event that something crops up outside the borders, DeMbare will not stand in the way of the players and will stand to be compensated for the termination of the contracts.
A close source at the club said they were also moving in for Mambare.
The source said a deal could be thrashed by end of day although Chikengezha brushed aside the talk as peculation. Dynamos began their preparations on a low note on Thursday, with few players turning up on the first day.
But yesterday the number had increased. The Glamour Boys will give the Warriors a practice match at Gwanzura tomorrow before the national team leaves for South Africa for the African Nations Championship.
Team manager Richard Chihoro said they were happy with the response from the players in the first two days.
“We started off with a few players on Thursday. The usual stuff that happens when teams regroup but today (yesterday) we had more players coming,” said Chihoro.
Dynamos Champions League squad
Goalkeepers: George Chigova, Artwell Mukandi, Tatenda Mukuruva
Defenders: Augustine Mbara, Gift Bello, Partson Jaure, Thomas Magorimbo, Ocean Mushure, Sydney Linyama, Victor Kamhuka, Oscar Machapa, Themba Ndlovu
Midfielders: Murape Murape, Devon Chafa, Tawanda Muparati, Cliff Sekete, Stephen Alimenda, Russell Madamombe, Boban Zirintusa, Ronald Chitiyo, Walter Mukanga, Tafadzwa Rusike
Strikers: Simba Sithole, Patrick Khumbula, Washington Pakamisa