By Eddie Chikamhi
HARARE giants Dynamos will tomorrow give their fans a glimpse of what to expect this season when they host Zambian side Kabwe Warriors in a pre-season friendly international match at Rufaro.
This will be the first competitive match for the Glamour Boys under their new Portuguese coach Paulo Jorge Silva, who took over from Tonderayi Ndiraya.
The arrival of new coach and former midfielder Lloyd Mutasa, who is returning as assistant coach, has generated interest among the DeMbare fans who are keen to put behind them the poor performances of last season when they finished without silverware.
DeMbare, who have also signed seven new players, have been training for the past month and the new technical team will want to use the match to sample the players in a competitive game.
Kabwe Warriors, who are coached by former Highlanders coach, Mohamed Fathi, are also preparing for the new season.
The Warriors from Kabwe, who played Blackpool in the old CAF Cup of Cup Winners tie in 1995 and were bundled out after George Mbwando turned on the show at the Independence Stadium to score a hattrick, travelled by road and were expected to arrive in Harare late afternoon yesterday with a delegation of 26 players and eight officials.
The side has just regained promotion into Zambia’s Premiership after spending one year in the second tier league.
DeMbare team manager Richard Chihoro said they were ready for their first pre-season assignment.
“We trained well this week. We don’t have any injuries to talk about so we should look forward to a good game,” said Chihoro.
The match has since been cleared by the Premier Soccer League and the Sports Commission.
Supporters will pay $3 for the cheapest ticket while the Upper West Grand Stand and the VIP sections will cost $5 and $10.
DeMbare have retained most of their players and have added to their ranks goalkeeper Ashley Reyners, midfielders Tichaona Chipunza, Dominic Mukandi and Valentine Ndaba, defenders Jimmy Dzingai and Liberty Chakoroma.
They had also reported that midfielder Archford Gutu had completed his move to the Harare giants although it emerged yesterday that the deal had not been finalised.
Sources yesterday indicated that the player may not be available for the pre-season friendly if a deal was not thrashed out on time.
DeMbare will be without Ronald Chitiyo, Blessing Moyo and Artwell Mukandi, who have left the club.
The 2016 season is set to begin in April after the Warriors’ back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Swaziland so that the rhythm will not be disturbed. The Premiership leadership indicated yesterday that fixtures should be ready this weekend.
Dynamos president Kenny Mubaiwa yesterday said they have set a busy schedule in the build-up to the new season as they are likely to play practice matches every weekend up until the new season starts.
As part of the preparations, they are also set to tour Malawi and Tanzania to play Big Bullets and Young Africans.
“We are preparing for the new season and this friendly match makes it very important for the two teams. We have some new players and new coaches who have joined us and this definitely is an opportunity for them to get a feel of what this team is about.
“It may be early to talk about combinations and tactics but we believe this match is good for the coaches to look at their personnel in a game situation because these are the players they will be working with this year.
“There are more practice games coming up and it looks to be a busy pre-season. Next week we have another friendly against Mutoko Traders and then afterwards we will embark on that trip to Malawi and Tanzania.
“We are looking to play a couple of matches there. From the look of it, it promises to be a busy schedule for us but I believe it’s beneficial. I think we should be doing this every year as part of the pre-season,” said Mubaiwa. The Herald