IN A SEASON that Kalisto Pasuwa almost lost his job and fought battles with some members of the all -powerful Dynamos board of directors and executive, his success reads like a fairytale.
Report by Henry Mhara
Dynamos had one of its most successful two years in succession since the turn of the millennium, winning a double in consecutive seasons.
The Harare giants retained the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title a fortnight ago and on Saturday they managed to defend the Mbada Diamonds Cup, beating Monomotapa 2-0.
By achieving the feat, Pasuwa engraved his name into the exclusive club of Dynamos coaches who have managed to retain the title.
He stands head high with other eminent names like Shepherd Murape and Sunday Chidzambwa.
Given little chance to succeed, the humble and soft spoken Pasuwa was thrust into the hot seat last year, taking over from personal friend Lloyd Mutasa with only 12 matches left and the Dynamos season seemingly on the edge of imploding.
Pasuwa, with almost nothing but club executive chairman Keni Mubaiwa’s support, managed to turn around the fortunes, winning the Mbada Diamonds Cup and the league title, but he had to be contend with the credit going to Mutasa.
This year, Pasuwa started on a low note, crushing out in the Caf Champions League after a 6-0 mauling by Esperance and then being booted out of the Confederations Cup by InterClube of Angola.
The departure of inspirational captain Washington Arubi and Takesure Chinyama in mid-season did not help matters either.
With the duo gone, Pasuwa gambled on rookies Farai Mupasiri, George Chigova and Tichaona Mabvura while Simba Sithole joined the bandwagon later on.
But what could have Pasuwa and Dynamos done differently in this season.
“It was a great season for me and for the club which I will never forget in my life. I had some problems at the start of the year, but we were more united this season than ever before. We were pulling in the same direction, starting from the board, the executive, the players, the supporters down to the last person at the club, we were very much united this season. As you know, over the years there have been many squabbles at Dynamos but it was just different this season. And I also want to thank BancABC for the financial support they have been giving us. They are one of the main reasons we are in this position at the moment,” reflected Pasuwa on Saturday.
Pasuwa and his technical staff will not have time to celebrate their success with the deadline to register players for the Caf Champions League fast approaching.
Dynamos have until December 30 to register their players for the continent’s premier competition.
Already names such as Morris Kadzola, Donald Ngoma, Kuda Mahachi, the Monomotapa trio of goalkeeper Artwell Mukandi, Russel Madamombe and Tawanda Nyamandwe are being linked with a move to Dynamos.
“We will sit with the executive as soon as possible to see ways we can handle it (beefing up squad),” said Pasuwa.
Denver Mukamba had two brilliant chances to close a memorable season on Saturday with two goals that could have confirmed he was the best in the land this season, but was lackadaisical in his approach.
Mukamba, one of the 11 soccer finalists of the year, was voted Mbada Diamonds Player of the Tournament to add to the Top Goal Scorer of the tournament, three awards which carried a combined $3 500 in prize money.
Mukamba and Highlanders’ Masimba Mambare are the front-runners for the coveted Soccer Star of the Year award to be announced on December 14.
Said Mukamba on Saturday: “We worked as a team and the unity was awesome this season. We fought together, won together and at times lost matches, but we were in all this together. We have to continue with this unity in the Caf Champions League.
“There are a few additions needed, but I think we are strong enough to compete. What is important is to maintain the unity and peace at the club at the moment.”