Kaizer Chiefs defender Thomas Sweswe rates the current Dynamos squad as one of the best and has backed them to go all the way to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League mini-league phase.
The Harare giants face Mozambican side Liga Muçulmana in the first round, second leg at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
The two teams played to a 2-all draw in the first leg in Maputo, meaning a goalless draw will be enough for Dynamos to go through to the second round where defending champions
Esperance of Tunisia could be their opponent.
Sweswe — who was part of the trailblazing Dynamos squad of 2008 that qualified for the semi-finals of the continental premier club competition only to lose to Cameroon giants CotonSport Garua — said the current squad had depth to emulate that achievement.
The steely defender is in the country as he rehabilitates from a knee injury that has ruled him out of the season for his South African side.
“The team is very balanced in terms of youngsters and experience. I watched their match last Sunday against Hardbody and I must say I was impressed by their play. They have got talent everywhere,” Sweswe told NewsDaySport after Dynamos’ morning training session at Rufaro Stadium yesterday.
“It’s not going to be easy. Playing in Africa is very difficult, but if they can keep working hard, they can go all the way. I think they have the quality to reach the mini-league stage and with some bit of luck, they can win it. They need to be united, work for each other and play for the club. They should have that passion that is associated with playing for Dynamos,” he added.
Turning on to Dynamos’ Sunday opposition and the possibility of facing the defending champions in the next stage, Sweswe was optimistic.
“Mozambican sides are very difficult playing at their home ground, but they are bad travellers. During my time at Dynamos we played Costa do Sol of Mozambique and won 3-0 here at Rufaro, but they went on to beat us 2-1 away. Dynamos scored two goals away so they have a big chance to win the tie. Liga Muçulmana will try to attack and that will create space at the back that Dynamos can exploit. In any case Dynamos will be playing the game at Rufaro, it’s their fortress.”
He added: “There is no need to fear Esperance. They are just like any other team. What is needed is to focus. We played Etoile du Sahel who were the defending champions then, but we managed to beat them home and away. There is nothing extraordinary about those Tunisian teams. Dynamos need to have to have the belief.”
Liga Muçulmana are expected in the country tomorrow afternoon.
The build-up to Sunday’s crunch match has been centred on the prolific form of Dynamos striker Takesure Chinyama, and Sweswe believes the former Poland-based big forward holds the key to Dynamos’ success on local and continental glory this season.
Chinyama has scored six goals in three competitive matches for Dynamos including a brace in Maputo, and the Dynamos family has every reason to believe.
“He is a top quality striker, good at creating space for fellow strikers and has a very good eye for goal. He is bringing his European experience into the team and scoring week in and out. If he can continue with that form, Dynamos will go a long way this season.
“Fans should come in their numbers as they have always done to create an intimidating atmosphere for the visitors. I will also be in the terraces to cheer the boys on,” said the man called Rambo by his fans.
Sweswe was part of the Dynamos that had the likes of the now Sudan-based Edward Sadomba and Justice Majabvi, who now plays in Vietnam.
On their way to the semi-finals, Dynamos accounted for some of the big names in continental football that include Etoile du Sahel, Asec Mimosas, Zamalek and Al Ahly before falling to CotonSport.