DYNAMOS will this week start negotiations with prospective players ahead of the Caf Champions League player registration deadline.
HENRY MHARA,SPORTS REPORTER
Last year, the champions listed players whom they had not signed, and ended up wasting slots.
The Harare giants who have confirmed that they will participate in the African Safari despite their principal sponsor BancABC pulling a plug, have until December 31 to send their provisional squad.
It is understood that the technical team has already drawn up their wish list for the Champions League, which has on it players such as Hardlife Zvirekwi, Charles Sibanda, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Nelson Maziwisa, Erick Chipeta and Ronald Chitiyo, a claim which the team manager Richard Chihoro yesterday refuted.
“There has been a lot of speculation in the media on the players on our wish list and those we are intending to drop or retain from last season, but to be honest, we haven’t reached that stage. That list is not there and we have not started negotiations with any player. We are still discussing as a technical team and we will submit our list to the executive before the end of this week,” said Chihoro.
“It is our hope that negotiations would begin thereafter. Only the players that we would have signed with will be registered for the Champions League. We don’t want a repeat of last year when we ended up wasting slots,” added Chihoro.
Last year, Dynamos submitted an initial list of 25 players to Caf, but ended up losing four of the slots after they failed to retain Rodreck Mutuma and Simba Sithole who opted to join South African clubs while Martin Vengesayi, after a contractual disagreement, joined city rivals Harare City. Aaron Katebe’s name was also on that list, but the Zambian international defender eventually settled for FC Platinum.
Dynamos also registered striker Francesco Zekumbawira without the full blessing of his parent club Hwange, a situation that temporarily scuppered the move. But after protracted negotiations in which the coal miners were reportedly demanding $130 000, the two clubs eventually settled for a one year deal for the big striker in a deal which was believed to be worth $15 000.
The Harare giants were also caught in the same dilemma on defender Sydney Linyama who they registered without completing negotiations with Chicken Inn who were demanding $15 000 for the player. Linyama went on to feature for Dynamos in the Champions League but frozen out in the local league as Chicken Inn were holding on to his clearance. The Bulawayo based side would release the papers later in the season.Chihoro said contrary to reports that the club is going for a massive overhaul of the current squad, only a few individuals will be added.
“Indications are that we are likely to retain all the players from last season so there is no need to add many players. Yes we need to strengthen the squad in some areas but that should not exceed four players, at most. We believe we have a very good squad who if given a chance, can deliver. The players showed an extraordinary mental strength to win the league against huge odds, and that is the spirit needed in Africa,” said Chihoro.
Despite the season finishing two weeks ago and many clubs releasing their players for the festive holidays, it is business as usual at Dynamos training ground.
“We want to keep the players in shape so we will not stop training,” said Chihoro after yesterday’s training session.