The buzz is back. . . . . . as fans warm up to DeMbare
Senior Sports Reporter
FOR all the doubts that people had with Herbert “Jompano” Maruwa, many among the Dynamos faithful are beginning to warm up to his team following a positive start to the 2023 Castle Lager Premiership football campaign.
It may be early to make a verdict but the sizeable crowd that filled the western bays at the National Sports Stadium to witness their 4-0 thumping of Premiership new boys Sheasham on Sunday could be a sign of better days ahead.
Considering the Harare giants struggled to draw spectators to the stadium last season, it is quite fascinating how they are turning the corner early in the season.
There appears to be a renewed zeal among their fans, judging by the first two games they have played and the numbers could surge this week when they clash with Simba Bhora, who are under the tutelage of their former son, Tonderai Ndiraya.
The Harare giants also had decent numbers for their season-opening encounter against Hwange, which they won 1-0, at Barbourfields last week.
Maybe the fact that the Premier Soccer League have slashed the gate entry charges down to US$2 for the cheapest ticket could be a huge contributing factor.
The spectators have also taken it upon themselves to mobilise crowds for their team through road shows.
The DeMbare supporters chapter in Bulawayo held a successful road show in the City of Kings ahead of the season opener against Hwange and the Harare chapter did the same before their clash with Sheasham on Sunday, with the numbers increasing on each outing.
The Dynamos fans in Harare, led by their chairman Khain Nyambuya, painted the central business district blue on Sunday.
This year, the DeMbare fans have adopted a hashtag “kakai ngoma”, which loosely translates to the act of preparing the musical drums in anticipation of celebrations.
But, will this be a year of celebrations for DeMbare, who have not won a major silverware in the last nine years? Only time will tell.
So far the indications are that the spectators are rallying solidly behind the team and the technical bench of Maruwa and his assistants Genesis Mangombe and club legend Murape Murape.
This is a crucial year for Dynamos, who celebrate 60 years of existence. They desperately need to end the nine-year title drought and top up the celebrations for the milestone.
Unlike last season when the bond between the team and the supporters appeared to have broken down, there is a semblance of unity.
DeMbare board chairman, Bernard Marriot, was part of the crowd in the terraces on Sunday as Maruwa and his team broke an eight-year jinx with the four-goal routing of Sheasham.
Legendary Callisto Pasuwa, who won the last silverware for DeMbare following an extraordinary four-peat between 2011 and 2014, was also among the VIP patrons.
Maruwa was part of the backroom staff during Pasuwa’s reign. The big win over Sheasham excited the Glamour Boys family.
This was the first time since 2015 that Dynamos have won their first two matches of the season. And they did it in style, as they played with both flair and purpose.
The Glamour Boys are gelling up well and the combinations appear to be coming good, with an impressive back four featuring skipper Frank Makarati, his two assistants Emmanuel Jalai and Kevin Moyo and Elvis Moyo, who was voted Man of the Match on Sunday.
DeMbare triumphed, thanks to two own goals by Sheasham defender Zivanai Chikwenhere as well as strikes by captain Makarati and Emmanuel Paga.
Elvis Moyo was excited by the crowds behind DeMbare.
“I have played against Dynamos before and I know the crowd and I think it’s a good thing to play in front of a big crowd like this.
“They have been cheering us on and I think it’s good for our confidence. Going forward, I think we will do well,” said Elvis Moyo.
He was also happy with the goals and the second clean sheet in as many games.
“It is important to score goals because if you look at our game against Hwange, we created several chances but we only managed to score one. But in this game we scored four.
“We could have scored maybe seven or eight but I think it’s still good enough for us. We will go back to training and rectify all our mistakes. But for us defenders, the confidence is okay because we kept a clean sheet,” he said.
Elvis Moyo, who previously won two league titles with FC Platinum, is one of the players that appear to have understood the mission, which is delivering the PSL title at the end of the season. “Firstly, the team comes first and we all know what the supporters want. If third position last year wasn’t good enough, then we know exactly what they want.
“But for me personally, like I said the team comes first, then individually I will make sure that I am part of the eleven best players in the country,” he said.