THERE will be both sadness and joy for Dynamos, as their top marksman, Christian Ntouba Epoupa’s (pictured) deal to join South African Premiership football side, Bidvest Wits fell through, as he sustained an injury on his first day at training.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The Cameroonian had been invited for a two-week trial period with the South African club, but had the misfortune of sustaining an ankle injury after playing for just 30 minutes on his first day of training on Sunday and will be out for at least a month.
The club doctors advised that he takes a four-week rest, as it would be a risk for him to continue training.
Epoupa returned to Harare yesterday to start his recuperation and it effectively means he cannot make his move to South Africa during the January transfer window, unless there is a club willing to take the risk and sign him while he is injured.
The player’s manager, Gilbert Sengwe confirmed yesterday that he had failed to finish his two-week trial due to injury.
“It’s unfortunate that Christian got injured on his first day of training with Bidvest Wits. He is already on his way to Harare. According to the club, he needs almost four weeks to recover,” he said.
“We will just wait and see what happens because I am still receiving inquiries from a number of clubs, but then again he can’t go while in that condition. There is nothing we can do for now, it’s very unfortunate.”
While the development is sad for the Glamour Boys, who had hoped to cash in on the transfer of their hitman having pegged a fee of around $200 000, the return of the striker is also a welcome development for a club battling to build from last season’s performance, in which they were beaten to the championship by FC Platinum on the last day of the league programme.
The Cameroonian joined Dynamos at the start of the season as part of coach Lloyd Mutasa’s rebuilding exercise and made his debut in April, lighting up the campaign with some spectacular goals and impressive performances, scoring 12 league goals.
Although he was beaten to the top goalscorer award by Caps United’s Dominic Chungwa, Epoupa was voted one of the Premiership’s 11 best players of the season.
The Glamour Boys are battling to tie down several stars to new deals after their contracts expired on December 31.
Vice-captain, Obey Mwerahari, midfielder, Tichaona Chipunza, voted the Players’ Player of the Year at the club’s awards ceremony, and Peace Makaha are now all free agents after their contracts with the club ran out last week.
The future of Cleophas Kapupurika, who has been on loan from FC Platinum, also remains uncertain, as the club is saddled with a debt from player salaries and bonuses.
Dynamos owe their players half salaries for the entire last season as well as bonuses for 10 wins and four draws.
The debt was accrued after their principal sponsors, BancABC, who used to foot the salary bill, cut their sponsorship package by half.