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Ndiraya excited with Chibuku, but….

By Eddie Chikamhi

Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has raised the red flag on the increased risk of the burnout, likely to result from the intensity of games, in the Chibuku Super Cup.

Former Dynamos midfielder and now Ngezi Platinum Stars coach Tonderai Ndiraya
Tonderai Ndiraya

The Glamour Boys are expected to open their campaign this Sunday against Herentals at the National Sports Stadium.

They are in Group One which comprises of six teams based in Harare.

The pairings will see Group One teams playing five games before reaching the quarter-finals.

“We are ready, we are so excited, our boys can’t wait to start playing the matches,’’ said Ndiraya.

“But, given the fact that they are also going to play quite a number of games, particularly in our group, we feel that it’s a little bit unfair for us, to play more matches.

“That really puts us in a very difficult situation or at a disadvantage.”

Ndiraya said he was concerned of overloading his players and risking injuries.

“But that is the situation, we just have to plan and make sure that we rotate all our players so that when we meet the other teams, in the quarter-finals, who would have played less matches, we will then be physically sound,’’ he said.

“We just have to see how we go about it, given the background of the shoddy preparations. We just have to soldier on and make sure that we get the results for the team.”

Dynamos will be without their workaholic wingback Emmanuel Jalai, for their season-opening match on Sunday, after the defender picked up a groin injury uring training, this week.

King Nadolo, Tinashe Makanda, David Temwanjira and Sylvester Appiah have also been in the casualty ward.

The quartet has since recovered but Jalai, and development graduate Tendaishe Magwaza, are still down.

“We have had many injuries, along the way, but now, with the improvement of the fitness levels, we only have two who remain on the sidelines,’’ said Ndiraya.

“Emmanuel Jalai picked up a groin injury this week so he is not participating in this match.

“Tendaishe Magwaza, our former Division Two side captain, has also been sidelined by an ankle injury.

“In terms of injuries, we had been unfortunate, but I am glad that with the improvement of fitness, most of our players are back now and are raring to go.’’

DeMbare have had a head start over their Group One rivals by participating in the President’s Independence Trophy last month. They beat Highlanders 2-0.

“We have had a little bit more time to prepare and that has really improved the fitness of the players,’’ said the coach.

“We have had a little bit of time, on the training field, and that has really helped the boys to get to understand each other. But, there is still some work to do.

“I think if you also watched the Independence Trophy final, I think Highlanders looked more like a team than us.

“They have been together, since 2018, and the understanding was there in their team.

“So, it’s that same understanding that we are seeking and, hopefully, we have done enough to try and bring the players together and build a team.

“But, what is exciting is that football is back.”

Fixtures

Saturday: Bulawayo City FC v Chicken Inn FC (Grp 2 – Barbourfields Stadium, 11 am), Whawha FC v FC Platinum (Grp 4 – Mandava Stadium, 1 pm), CAPS United FC v Yadah FC (Grp 1 – National Sports Stadium 3 pm), Tenax CS FC v Black Rhinos FC (Grp 3 – Sakubva Stadium 3 pm).

Sunday: Ngezi Platinum Stars FC v Triangle United FC (Grp 4 – Mandava Stadium, 11 am), Harare City FC v ZPC Kariba FC (Grp 1 – National Sports Stadium, 11 am), Bulawayo Chiefs FC v Highlanders FC (Grp 2 – Barbourfields Stadium, 1 pm), Herentals FC vs Dynamos FC (Grp 1 – National Sports Stadium, 3 pm), Manica Diamonds FC vs Cranborne Bullets FC Grp 3 – Sakubva Stadium, 3 pm). The Herald

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