By Petros Kausiyo
CHAMPIONS Dynamos were late yesterday still in a striking dilemma as they struggled to fill the void left by big forward Takesure Chinyama with Harare giants seeking to find a replacement before the close of the Premiership’s transfer window at midnight.
Such was the desperation in the DeMbare camp that they were also understood to be lining up a last minute audacious bid to lure Evans Gwekwerere from bitter rivals CAPS United.
Gwekwerere has had a frosty relationship with Makepekepe this season and the striker is understood to have set his sights on leaving the Green Machine and make a sensational return to Dynamos.
With Chinyama leaving DeMbare, the former Douglas Warriors forward is understood to have been quietly fancying his chances of returning to the Blue half of the capital with the kind of bang that heralded his arrival from the now defunct Northern Region Division One side in 2006.
Chinyama left DeMbare last week to join South African Premiership champions Orlando Pirates but not before helping the Glamour Boys mount a strong a start to the defence of their championship title, scoring nine goals in 14 games.
While Chinyama was moving to new pastures in the Super Diski, he left behind a huge void in a Dynamos outfit that had become accustomed to the Warriors’ attacking prowess as he fronted their attack.
Dynamos might have begun life without Chinyama on a positive note with a crucial 1-0 win over CAPS United in a massive Harare derby but if the reality that they are now without a trusted gunslinger was masked by their triumph over Makepekepe, it really bit the Glamour Boys hard yesterday as the clock ticked towards the close of the window period in which to register more players.
Coach Callisto Pasuwa, who has not made it a secret that Chinyama’s departure was a huge dent to their championship aspirations, was left with just one slot to fill on their Premiership register ahead of the deadline.
This is because Dynamos had already used three of their mid-season slots to register such players like Zambian Arthur Kaseloki, Cliff Sekete and young goalkeeper Manfred Mulingani who had been on loan.
They also elevated five juniors – Leroy Murape, Farai Mupasiri, Brian Chinhoyi, Brian Five and Blessing Moyo – to the senior side in line with the PSL requirements.
Ironically, on the day that Dynamos were facing a crisis back home, Arubi reportedly sealed his move to newly promoted ABSA Premiership outfit Pretoria University.
It also emerged that Dynamos were forced to deregister injury-prone midfielder Leo Kurauzvione in order to make way for former Gunners winger Sekete while Kaseloki came in for former Blue Ribbon forward Tineyi Chitora.
Dynamos were also left sweating over what to do with veteran midfielder Desmond Maringwa after Denver Mukamba returned home last Wednesday just when the Harare giants had resigned themselves to losing him to Bidvest Wits.
With his options limited, Pasuwa had been banking on replacing Mukamba with Maringwa but with some complications having arisen from the Warriors midfielder’s intended move to Wits, Dynamos were by yesterday left with just one slot — that of a striker which was vacated by Chinyama.
Pasuwa whose side is facing a stiff challenge from log leaders Highlanders Shabanie Mine, Buffaloes and Monomotapa in the leading pack, admitted yesterday that he was in a quandary.
“I had been hoping to get a striker to come in as a direct replacement for Takesure and we are hoping that we could maybe get Obadiah Tarumbwa who is a free agent but now I understand that his management team is working on getting him a club in South Africa.
“We also need Desmond for his experience now that he is back and fit again but the problem is we do not have many slots at our disposal because we cannot register more than five players,’’ Pasuwa said.
Dynamos secretary-general, Ray Kazembe, also acknowledged the complexity of their case.
“It’s always tricky in mid-season to get players and register them on time because most of the local clubs will also be holding onto their best players in order to fight for the championship or to avoid relegation.
“You cannot register a player until you are sure he is yours and it is also very hard to deregister a player and ask him to look for a new club within hours before the window closes,’’ Kazembe said.
The Dynamos secretary-general also noted with concern that the local clubs would continue to lose their top players even after the domestic transfer window has closed.
“Our situation is compounded by the fact that our transfer window closes on July 31 and yet most of the professional leagues in South Africa and Europe have up to 31 August to register players.
“It is also a pity that we do not have enough resources to attract players from other countries so we can only rely on the locals to replace those that would have moved to foreign clubs.
“As it stands we might be having Denver with us but what if something comes up and he leaves after two weeks, it means we cannot fill that clot because the window would have closed,’’ Kazembe said.
The Harare businessman reckoned that it was time the domestic game also tried to realign itself with some of the trends obtaining in international football.
“If, for instance, our window was the same with South Africa and Europe then we would know who is guaranteed to be with us and who is not but as it stands, we can only which players are not going to move after 31 August when the foreign clubs have completed their window,’’ Kazembe said.
Premier Soccer League chief executive Kenny Ndebele revealed that Dynamos were not the only club facing a quandary.
“I understand that there are some clubs that actually have been left with 10 players at the moment because of financial problems and they can only add five more unless they have not exhausted their five slots for the Under-19s.
“So I have advised them to go young and exploit their Under-19 slots,’’ Ndebele said.
The PSL chief executive also defended their decision to restrict the number of additions a team could make during the mid-season transfer window arguing that the top-flight clubs had previously abused the system and virtually reduced the league to a circus.
“We had a problem where a club (Masvingo United) deregistered 18 players and replaced them with 17 from Don Bosco and then deregistered the same 17 players after just two weeks so we then resolved that we needed to have some control and we restricted it to five,’’ Ndebele said. The Herald
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