By Mugove Chigada
New Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya says he found common ground with the club despite the ‘great snub’ in the past.
In January 2016 Ndiraya was building a team for the new season, only to be left in the cold after a U-turn by the club which also left cracks in the executive.
“We have agreed that past is past and we just have to move forward,” Ndiraya said yesterday in an exclusive interview.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference for his unveiling – his second coming as it were.
The unveiling had been set for 9:30 am. But a meeting between the parties concerned meant the presser delayed with an hour.
It seemed there were some issues to iron out before the coach could predictably promise resurgence.
But DeMbare chairman Isaiah Mupfurutsa did not come out clean on the coach’s targets, and he repeatedly said they want “to be among the top sides”.
After the ‘Mablanyo show’, it is understandable that this executive was left scuttling for Ndiraya’s signature again.
There was no going back for the club, but much to consider on the coach’s side.
“We have assured each other that what happened in the past should not be repeated,” Ndiraya added.
“We have now agreed that (I’m there) upto the end of the season. Then we sit down, but of course I have the first refusal.”
A lot of things have changed since that January 2016 nightmare when Ndiraya didn’t have first refusal, when he instead surrendered players he had recruited to comical Paulo Jorge Silva.
Four other coaches, Silva, Lloyd Mutasa, Biggie Zuze and Lloyd ‘Mablanyo’ Chigowe, have been in charge, but in vain.
DeMbare have gone down the abyss, turning into the weeping boys that can’t beat a team with a 47-year-old striker whose regular teenage son is not yet ripe for Premiership – Herentals.
Veteran striker Edward Sadomba, 35, is now back at the club and is arguably one of the few quality players at the club while most of the players may need to be content with wearing blue in the absence of alternatives.
“I’m pleased to be back after a brief sabbatical,” Ndiraya said.
History will forever record that he was fired at Ngezi Platinum with a few games to go when he was still in the title race.
But perhaps that January 2016 snub at DeMbare is legendary if statistics are anything to by.
For the record, when Ndiraya took over at DeMbare after round 17, no other coach collected more points than him.
After round 17, when David Mandigora was fired, the Glamour Boys had managed 29 points.
Eventual champions champions Chicken Inn were on 34 points after 17 games.
FC Platinum, who finished third on the log were on 28 points after the same number of games while Triangle, who finished fourth end of season, were on 32 points then.
In the matches that Ndiraya was in charge, he managed 28 points more to get to 57 points, ensuring second place.
Champions Chicken Inn managed 27 more points during the same period for a 61 points total. FC Platinum Managed 27 while Triangle added 17 more points.
“In the eyes of the people it may not have been justified but contractually, my term had ended,” Ndiraya said, as if to bring to issue to finality.
But will Ndiraya cope with the material at his disposal now?
“We have a new team to start with. Remember last year, Dynamos fought relegation with what people termed average players. But I thought there were some good players in that team.
“They just needed a bit of some quality to be a quality side. But the unfortunate happened and team lost a number of players, influential players for that matter.
“They brought in largely inexperienced players. That is why the team finds itself in the situation it is now,” said Ndiraya.
The big challenge is to get results with the quality that I have. The team has potential,” he said, adding that they will not miss an opportunity to “add quality” during transfer window.
Asked on his assistants, he said, “I have recommended Gift Muzadzi for the goalkeepers’ coach, but on the other assistant coaches, I’m still consulting.”
This, in many ways, is a coach that arrives back at Dynamos with a proud record that has earned him Chibuku Cup and a dance in Africa.
It is also on record that since Ndiraya took over at Ngezi Platinum in week 11 of the 2016 season upto the time he was fired, only FC Platinum coach Norman Mapeza had done better than him.
In the 83 matches he was in charge, he managed 158 points while Mapeza managed 175 points during the same period. H-Metro