NEW Dynamos coach Paulo Jorge Silva will be looking to quickly endear himself to the Harare football giants’ often demanding supporters when he takes charge of the team’s first competitive match against Zambian outfit, Kabwe Warriors, in a friendly match at Rufaro Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Portuguese arrived at Dynamos last month amid high expectations, having worked for big clubs before, including German powerhouse Stuttgart – information that cannot be verified though – and there is no better atmosphere than Rufaro Stadium for his debut.
Silva, very outspoken, declared on his second day of training that he will bring back the glory days by winning the league title this year, and his performance tomorrow will give an indication of his capabilities.
The 43-year-old, who replaced Tonderai Ndiraya, who paid the price for finishing second on the log table, this week said he was happy with the squad, although he believes there is a need to add at least one striker to make the team complete.
Reports suggest two strikers from Portugal arrived in the country yesterday for trials with the club.
However, Dynamos chairman Keni Mubaiwa said they were using the international friendly matches to scout for strikers.
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After the Kabwe Warriors match, Dynamos are set to travel to Malawi and Tanzania to play more friendly matches against Big Bullets and Young Africans respectively.
“We are still looking for one or two strikers and since we are going to play Kabwe Warriors on Sunday (tomorrow), the technical team will have an opportunity to assess and see if they can sign anyone in that team,” Mubaiwa said.
“We will also be going to Malawi and Tanzania in our pre-season preparations and if they find a striker whom they think is good enough to play for us, we will sign him,” he added.
Dynamos are expected to use the matches to introduce their new arrivals – former Caps United midfielder Dominic Mukandi, Valentine Ndaba, formerly with Highlanders, Tichaona Chipunza, who was snapped from Triangle, and the returning Archford Gutu – to supporters.
Kabwe Warriors, who are coached by former Highlanders coach Mohammad Fathi, are expected in the country today.
Reports from Lusaka suggest that the promoted side, who are also set to play Caps United this week, will field their strongest possible side for the match.
Meanwhile, the country’s Caf Champions League representatives Chicken Inn will fine-tune their preparations when they play Harare City in a friendly match in Bulawayo tomorrow. Harare City are also playing in the African safari this season, in the Caf Confederations Cup.
Chicken Inn were in Zambia last week, where they participated in a four-team invitational tournament involving two local sides Zesco United and Zanaco, and a Tanzanian side Azam.
The Joey Antipas-coached side faces a stern test in the form of South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the Champions League first round first leg next week in Bulawayo before the return leg in Pretoria two weeks later.
As for Harare City, they face off with AS Adema of Madagascar with the first leg set for Harare next week.