By Tadious Manyepo and Nokutenda Chiyangwa
Dynamos assistant coach Biggie Zuze has described bitter rivals CAPS United as a strong side, but believes the Glamour Boys will match them toe-to-toe in the Commander Zimbabwe National Army’s Charities Shield semi-final at Rufaro this Sunday.
The other semi-final of the pre-season invitational tournament pits Highlanders and Chicken Inn at Barbourfields on the same day.
DeMbare were knocked out of this tournament by their rivals, who went on to win the trophy, at the same stage last season.
The Glamour Boys had also been bundled out of the mini-tournament by the Green Machine two seasons earlier.
“I am aware that we have failed to beat CAPS United on the two occasions we have met in the Commander Zimbabwe National Army’s Charities tournament,’’ said Zuze.
“CAPS United are a strong team capable of doing wonders. They have good players and a good technical team led by Lloyd Chitembwe.
“We know they have been building and we should be wary when we play them.
“But, we are Dynamos, a team with a good reputation. A team which do not believe in jinxes. We will be out to revenge the 1-3 loss we suffered at the hands of CAPS United in the semi-finals last season.
“We have built a strong squad, which we believe will do better than what we did last year. People are always saying we don’t have big names in our ranks, but I want to say the likes of Jimmy Tigere, as well as Raphael Manuvire, among others, are big-name players in our Premiership.
“They have been there for some time and the fact that we have taken them aboard speaks volumes of how much we believe in them.’’
Zuze is hoping the players who got some slight knocks in last weekend’s double-header friendly ties against Mushowani Stars and Buffaloes would have recovered in time for Sunday’s Derby.
“I am calling upon fans to come in their numbers to have a glimpse of what they will be watching this season,” said Zuze.
Makepekepe have won the tournament twice and the rules of the tourney gives them the right to take the current cup for good if they win it for the third time.
Assistant coach Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi yesterday said his charges had launched “Operation Retain the Cup”.
“We are staring at a big game against a big team like Dynamos. Whenever these two giants collide, it’s war and we can’t wait for the game.
“They have a good team led by Lloyd Mutasa and Zuze, who are doing well.
“We believe we can win it for the third time. We are not taking anything for granted and we will summon everything in the tank to (win),” said Kwashi.
Tournament winners will walk away $15 000 richer, while the runners-up are guaranteed $10 000.
The Commander ZNA’s Charities Shield, with the blessings of the country’s football authorities, is the opening event of the Army Charities’ fundraising calendar.
ZNA Charities Secretariat Staff Officer Fabian Chitungo said his organisation was targeting to raise $50 000 from the tournament to be channelled towards charity.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the Premier Soccer League and the top-flight clubs for the support they continue to give us.
“We have five charitable organisations, which include the Tsanga Lodge Convalescence Centre, ZNA Widows and Orphans Fund, ZNA Schools Welfare Trust, ZNA Patients Welfare Fund as well as the Benevolent Fund.
“Whatever amount we raise from the tournament goes towards assisting these under-privileged members of our organisation and their dependents.
“We are targeting to raise $50 000 in this year’s tournament. We are also accepting all forms of payment at the gates, where the cheapest ticket has been pegged at $3,” he said. The Herald