After the great player exodus that hit Dynamos in the previous weeks, many pundits were quick to rule out the team’s chances of holding their own in the upcoming Confederations of African Football (Caf) Champions League games.
However, as the team begins their preparations for life in the African safari with a training session at Raylton Sports Club on Monday, team coach Lloyd Mutasa believes he has assembled a strong side that can challenge for both the Premier Soccer League and the Champions League this season.
“After the problems we had in the last few weeks, a lot of people have written us off but I want to tell them that I will have one or two surprises for them,” said the soft-spoken Mutasa.
“In the little time I was given by the club I managed to assemble a team that I believe is very strong and competitive. I managed to bring with me eight players from Kiglon who I think can bring me results in the league and in the Champions League.”
“Some of the players are with the Young Warriors at the moment and they managed to beat Zambia away and that alone should be enough proof that they are Champions League material.
“I also managed to retain the likes of Guthrie Zhokinyi, Desmond Maringwa, Milton Makopa and George Magariro, who I think will provide the necessary experience to the young squad,” added Mutasa.
His assignment was made tough after six of the influential players, Washington Arubi, Benjamin Marere, Evans Gwekwerere, Murape Murape, Khumbulani Banda and Thabani Kamusoko, decided to dump the beleaguered team over outstanding salaries and winning bonuses.
Faced with such a huge dilemma, Mutasa raided his former club and brought in Denver Mukamba, Devon Chafa, Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Thomas Magorimbo, Dominic Benati, Gift Bello and Martin Vengesai.
Although Vengesai was not included on the Champions League list, he will be playing for the team in the local Premiership.
Mutasa also managed to convince Arubi and Murape, who signed for Division One club Highfield United back to the club.
“It was hard for me to see players like Marere and Evans leaving the club but maybe it is a blessing in disguise for those players to dump the team. This is the chance for other new players to shine on the biggest stage,” said Mutasa.
Mutasa’s greatest loss was in Gwekwerere who was the only recognisable striker in the team last season.
Samaita however moved swiftly and signed the unheralded duo of strikers Rodrick Mutumwa and Patrick Khumbula from Division One, and former Monomotapa talisman Charles Chiutsa while Francis Kanda and Tawanda Muparati could also prove to be good acquisitions by the Harare giants.
“Our aim is to reach the Champions League final and with the squad that I have I want to believe we are even capable of winning the trophy,” said the ambitious Mutasa.
He said although he was happy with the players he managed to sign but he was still disheartened that he failed to land a few other players he thought could have added more dimension to the squad.