By Langton Nyakwenda and Don Makanyanga
Dynamos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Chicken Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Even if he didn’t win the biggest prize, Lloyd Mutasa feels this was the best ever season in his coaching career after Dynamos finished the term with the most number of wins.
Although DeMbare lost the title to FC Platinum who beat Chapungu at Ascot yesterday, the Glamour Boys finished the season with 21 wins — one more than Pure Platinum Play — after yesterday’s victory over Chicken Inn at National Sports.
Utility player Obey Mwerahari scored after just five minutes of play before Cameroonian import Christian Joel Epoupa endured a painful end to the season when he missed from the spot in the 55th minute.
“It was a great season, my best ever,” declared Mutasa, who is a favourite for the Coach of the Year award.
“Congratulations to Norman Mapeza and FC Platinum, they did a fantastic job in getting two more points ahead of us.”
Mutasa is credited for rebuilding Dynamos from the ashes with largely obscure players, some of whom had been rejected from other clubs, yet he still managed to lift DeMbare to unexpected levels.
Not many gave Dynamos a chance when the season started, with some labelling DeMbare ‘relegation candidates’ after the team’s failure to win in the opening three matches.
Dynamos lost 0-1 to FC Platinum in the opening match, drew 2-2 at Triangle before losing 0-1 to Black Rhinos.
“It was really tough at the beginning, going back to trials, trying to modify the playing personnel but that was the only way to go because of lack of capital.
“To then go on and be as competitive as we did shows you the hard work that was put in. God’s grace was with us as well,” said Mutasa.
The soft spoken gaffer is renowned for building teams from scratch and he proved likewise this season, turning a team that many doubted into a force to reckon with.
“Going back to basics is the key to building a strong base. The other mistake some make is to underestimate what these young boys can do.
“They might fail initially but if you keep doing it over and over again you start seeing hidden talent coming out.
“Sometimes it’s all about instilling a sense of belief in these youngsters,” noted Mutasa.
Among the youthful talent that blossomed at DeMbare this season are Peace Makaha, Cleopas Kapupurika and Romario Matova who played left back in the closing stages of the season.
Mutasa also unearthed the likes of Quality Kangadzi before bringing Godfrey “Marabha” Mukambi to the limelight in the second half of the season.
“We now have the experience and the juniors coming up so we hope to do better next season because being second best is not good enough for this institution.
“We lost points at home in the early stages of the season when we were still trying to get to know each other.”
Given the opportunity, Mutasa would want to continue with his project next season but he knows very well that decision lies with the hard to please Dynamos executive led by president Kenny Mubaiwa.
“For as long as the key stakeholders appreciate what we are doing and the owners are happy, I would love to be here next term,” said Mutasa.
Mubaiwa indicated mid season that winning the title was a bonus. He must be satisfied with the way Mutasa went about his business.
DeMbare went into the final weekend of the season still in with a chance to win the title they last landed when Kallisto Pasuwa was still at the helm in 2014.
An early goal by Mwerahari at the National Sports yesterday settled the nerves and Dynamos hung on until Brighton Chimene blew the final whistle.
But that was not enough as title rivals FC Platinum did what was required of them and beat Chapungu to become the first team from outside Harare and Bulawayo to lift the championship since 1966. Sunday Mail